Stefanos Tsitsipas makes Rafael Nadal promise after 'strange' stat in ATP Finals defeat


Stefanos Tsitsipas says he will definitely work on finding a way to combat Rafael Nadal’s serve after failing to create a break point chance in his ATP Finals defeat to the Spaniard.

Tsitsipas came into the match against Nadal having won his opening two matches and he took the first set in a tiebreak.

But Nadal fought back, breaking Tsitsipas once in sets two and three to complete a 6-7 6-4 7-5.

Unfortunately for Tsitsipas, he was unable to create a break point chance in the entire match.

His return game was particularly weak, winning just 15 and 44 per cent of return points on first and second serves respectively.

Altogether, Tsitsipas won just 25 per cent of return points and after the match, he acknowledged he struggled to deal with Nadal’s left-handed serve.

“It’s very strange, you know. I like playing lefties. I never had problem playing lefties,” he said.

“My record against lefties, I think, I don’t know, in my entire career even outside of ATP has been positive.

“There is something about him. I don’t know. It comes with a different spin, and that makes it really difficult to return.

“It’s like my brain is used on one certain motion, and suddenly this is like reversed in a way.

“We all know he’s not the biggest server in the tour. He uses his serve very wise and smart, but he doesn’t kill you with his serve.

“Yeah, it didn’t happen today. I’m going to definitely work on it and have more practice sessions with lefties, because most of the time I’m practicing with right-handed players, and work on that more, because for sure I’m going to face him many more times in the future.”

Tsitsipas will need to improve the quality of his returns when he takes on either Roger Federer or Dominic Thiem for a place in the final.

“Thiem plays with a lot of intensity, uses his forehand very well,” Tsitsipas said.

“Roger is very aggressive. I mean, both very aggressive players but different styles. I would compare that one is just flawless and doesn’t use too much of his power to play. The other one is really forcing much.

“So for me I’m going to — I mean, I’m going to take it pretty much the same way, both single-handed backhands. I have played them both.

“I don’t know. It’s not much to say about them. I respect them, and I have to play well. I know that, because everything is — everything counts in the semifinals of the O2.”


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