Australian Open (1/8 final): Stefanos Tsitsipas – Matteo Berrettini

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These two players have already met twice in official matches. Stefanos Tsitsipas won both matches with difficulty. Indeed, there have always been at least 2 tie-breaks, and the Greek has always lost a set.

Tournament history

Stefanos Tsitsipas plays his fourth Australian Open. He didn’t make it past the third round last year, and his best performance is a semi-final in 2019.

Matteo Berrettini is also playing this Grand Slam tournament for the fourth time. Seeing him in the 1/8 final is a first for him. Before this year, the Italian had only made it through the first round once, only to be eliminated in the second round.

In this edition

Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first match against Gilles Simon. The latter couldn’t manage the intensity of the Greek and fell quite dry (3 sets and 1h30 of play). Tsitsipas then had a little fright against Thanasi Kokkinakis. The Australian, transcended by his public, took his opponent in a 5 sets after having played and won 2 tie-breaks. Finally, Stefanos Tsitsipas was very reassuring against Mikael Ymer in the 3rd round.

In this tournament, Matteo Berrettini won against Kevin Anderson in 3 sets, Tomas Machac (199th) in 4 sets and Karen Khachanov (in 3 sets composed of 3 tie-breaks).

Analysis

I must confess I am not a big fan of Stefanos Tsitsipas. Well, let’s rather say that I really appreciate his playing style and technique, but not the character. He reminds me from time to time of Novak Djokovic who makes boxes of him. That must be the trademark of some great players.

Anyway, Stefanos Tsitsipas will be my favorite to pass this round. Compared to what these two guys have been offering us since the beginning of the tournament, the Greek seems to me to be in a better position.

What’s interesting about Stefanos Tsitsipas is that he’s good physically, drops very little on his serves and is able to make winning shots on both sides. It’s really nice to see.

Matteo Berrettini is also an interesting player to watch. He is a force of nature that hits the ball hard, and this allows him to puncture the defenses of his opponents. There is, however, one point of attention regarding the Italian. He seemed to be hit in the abdominals during his last match against Karen Khachanov (the physio had to intervene). This is obviously to be taken into account.

Also, Matteo Berrettini leaves (surprisingly) a little more possibility on his commitments. His firsts don’t always pass and the rallies can more easily engage on his seconds.

In the rallies, Matteo Berrettini can be led to overdo it, and that makes him generate some rather annoying faults. Moreover, for this new match, Stefanos Tsitsipas could well (unsurprisingly) insist on the Italian’s backhand which is much less sexy than his forehand. This could allow the Greek to take control of the rally more than once.

Stefanos Tsitsipas thus seems to me superior to his opponent of the day. However, I won’t be surprised to see one or more tie-breaks where Matteo Berrettini will be able to take the advantage. Indeed, the Italian seems to be on a good dynamic when he plays decisive games. As a proof, he won the 4 tie-breaks he has played since the beginning of the season. Stefanos Tsitsipas is not as good in this area of the game: he has lost both tie-breaks he has played this season (against Kokkinakis), and has only won 33% of the tie-breaks since last October.

In the two previous matches between Tsitsipas and Berrettini, there were always at least two tie-breaks. The current 6th in the world is therefore warned.

Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas wins

Medium risk

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