Novak Djokovic did not miss his entry into the Masters. Against Stefanos Tsitsipas, against whom he has been undefeated for three years, the Serb won in two sets (6-4, 7-6 (4) in 1h38). He thus takes the lead of the red group in front of Andrey Rublev, winner in three sets of Daniil Medvedev a little earlier in the day. On Wednesday, Djokovic will face Rublev to, perhaps, already validate his qualification for the semi-finals.
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A little over a week ago, Stefanos Tsitsipas gave in in the third set tie-break against Novak Djokovic with a score of 7-4. This Monday evening, there was no decisive tie-break, but a tie-break in the second set. Once again, the Serb emerged victorious with the same score: 7-4. Faced with a Greek who has only lost his service once, during the very first game of service, the eighth in the world has been chomping at the bit to return. Intractable on his face-off, he completed the first set on a last winning service while Tsitsipas wrongly stopped the point thinking that this ball was faulty (6-4, 37 minutes).
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A psychological war
In this Pala Alpitour which had no favorite and which in turn encouraged those who asked for support, Djokovic showed signs of feverishness at the start of the second set. Two consecutive double faults gave Tsitsipas his only break point of the match at 2-1 in his favor. The third in the world did not know how to take advantage of it, despite a second ball at 132 km / h from the Serb. The latter finally concluded with a winning smash.
The Serb, who didn’t relish his opponent’s reaction to appeal to the public at 3-2 in the first set following a forehand winner, replied on the next point before glaring at his opponent once the winning of his validated service game. A psychological war then set in and, as often, it was Novak Djokovic who proved to be the strongest in this game. If he regularly manages to destabilize the Serb, Tsitsipas has not been able to conclude since a victorious quarter-final in Shanghai in 2019 (3-6, 7-5, 6-3).
The Greek has a weakness that is too clear and too recurrent with his one-handed backhand that he tends to decenter when the pressure increases. Faced with a precise and hard-hitting Djokovic for his first match of the Masters, he thus committed many unforced errors on the important points. In search of Roger Federer’s record (6 titles), Novak Djokovic showed that he had to be counted on during this week in Turin. While Stefanos Tsitsipas will play an already crucial match on Wednesday afternoon (2:00 p.m.) against Daniil Medvedev.
Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas after their duel in the group stage of the Turin Masters
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