Tsitsipas makes strong Hamburg start as Humbert stuns Medvedev - GulfToday

Tsitsipas makes strong Hamburg start as Humbert stuns Medvedev

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his first round match of the Hamburg European Open against Dan Evans (unseen) on Wednesday. Reuters

Hamburg: Stefanos Tsitsipas played with great focus to beat Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-1 in 59 minutes on Wednesday at the Hamburg European Open.

The second seed, who now plays Pablo Cuevas in the second round, hit 17 of his 24 winners off the forehand wing and won 14 of 19 points at the net.

Tsitsipas turned defence into attack to force a forehand error from Evans for a 3-1 advantage in the 29-minute first set, which the Greek closed out to love with a forehand volley winner.

Evans was continually pushed deep behind the baseline at the AM Rothenbaum and couldn’t replicate the kind of form that helped him beat Tsitsipas at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February.

Tsitsipas broke the Briton in the third game of the second set, with a deep forehand return and forehand approach combination. The World No. 6 was later the recipient of backhand slice errors from Evans when leading 3-1 and 5-1.

Elsewhere, Cristian Garin became the first player to reach the Hamburg quarter-finals after he defeated Gael Monfils’ conqueror, wild card Yannick Hanfmann, 6-2, 7-6(3). Garin led 5-2 in the second set, only to see Hanfmann serve for the set at 6-5 and then lead 3/1 in the tie-break.

Meanwhile, French tennis player Benoit Paire was allowed to compete at the Hamburg Open despite twice testing positive for the coronavirus, he said on Wednesday. Paire retired from his opening-round match while trailing Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-0 on Wednesday, but it was unclear why.

Paire withdrew from the US Open after testing positive and spending more than a week in isolation. He then played at the Italian Open last week, losing in the first round.

According to German news agency dpa, Paire said he twice tested positive while in Hamburg but then had a negative test.  Paire said he was not sure if he would play at the French Open, which begins Sunday, and would end his season early if he wasn’t allowed to compete.

Humbert advances: US Open semi-finalist Daniil Medvedev was knocked out in the first round on Tuesday by world number 41 Ugo Humbert.

Humbert of France sent the top seed packing with a 6-4, 6-3 upset in the last tournament before the rescheduled French Open starts on Sunday.

This was the 22-year-old’s first top 10 scalp. Russian Medvedev, who was beaten by eventual US Open winner Dominic Thiem in New York this month, is ranked fifth. Humbert has emerged as the main home hope for Roland Garros. Compatriot Gael Monfils lost earlier on the Hamburg clay 6-4, 6-3 by Yannick Hanfmann.

Humbert next faces Czech Jan Vesely, who beat another French player, Gilles Simon, on Monday.


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