World no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas bucked the searing heat and the challenge of AJ Lim of the Philippines in two games at 6-2, 6-1, putting the Greeks on the board after the first singles match in the Davis Cup 2020 World Group II Playoffs, Friday at PCA Tennis Court.
The new format allows the Filipinos and the Greeks to face each other for the first time in the history of the World Cup of Tennis. The winner of the tie moves on to World Group II, while the losing side slips into Group III, which is, as usual, regional.
Tsitsipas bagged two breaks early in the first set, before Lim finally held serve to cut the former’s deficit to two at 1-3. The Filipino clinched his following service game, but the Greek star eventually bagged the frame at 6-2.
Lim snagged the lead in the second after taking care of his service game. Tsitsipas, nonetheless, showed his creativity to manufacture the points and eventually sweep the next six games, sealing the victory with an emphatic ace.
“Thing worked out pretty well. I think I played okay, enough to get the win today,” the Greek ace shared. “It’s quite difficult adjusting to the court. You know, the bounces are off, it’s like all over the place. But I still found ways to get the ball back.”
The 21-year-old also found the humid conditions at the playing area challenging. He said, “The last game was difficult. It felt like a sauna in there, I won’t lie. I was not used to that, but I think it’s good for my cardio.”
Substitutions are also likely as allowed by competition rules.