"Momentum" This is how I break down this Tennis match. Basilashvili vs Tsitsipás.
"Momentum" This is how I break down this Tennis match.
"Momentum" This is how I break down this Tennis match.
Hi friends, sport lovers and @sportstalksocial; after a roller coaster of emotions, I watched the first quarterfinal match of the Coachella Valley Masters Tournament, with the brand new number 3 of the ranking, Stephanos Tsitsipas, who was facing a modest rival, who has managed to stay inside the top 40 so far this year (he was even at No. 27 during the month of May. I am referring to the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, who after winning the title on the hard court in Doha in March, repeated another important title on clay in Munich, but then had a small drop in his level (personal problems and apparent physical ailments), which reduced his pace of play.
For the good of the Tbilisi-born player and the white sport, Nikolos seems to have recovered that "mind - game" balance that characterizes him and that helped him to win two ATP tournaments this year.
He was facing a consolidated top 3 player and I saw him with more muscle mass, he seems to have been lifting weights hahaha, however that has not increased the speed of his shots because Nikoloz has returned "almost all his shots", this in my opinion, has been achieved by combining tranquility with confidence (de-stress), a key attitude in moments of great tension, because the next step would be a semifinal in a prestigious Masters tournament; and with the absence of Novak and Daniil, the real opportunity to win should be considered, yes!
So why did the Georgian win? What did Nikoloz do differently to beat one of the best players in the world? What happened to Stefanos? Here are my impressions:
Of the four matches that the Athenian played, he reached the third set in three of them, that is to say, he lacked something to finish the match on the fast track; that translates into a greater physical exhaustion than necessary. Perhaps for that reason, he did not run much before the successful drop shots of Nikolos; on the other hand, today I have noticed him very hesitant with his drive, he was even receiving Basilashvili's service with his backhand (atypical in him), another detail observed was that he remained somewhat static after serving and the Georgian took advantage of that to vary the direction of his shots.
These details were worth for a double break by Basilashvili, who was placed 4 - 1 in just 20 minutes of play, but the Athenian recovered to recover and even the score, although Basilashvili struggled to keep the pace and was able to finish 6 - 4 in 34 minutes of play. But in the second set, the "Diamond" went all out to attack and there was the lapse of Nikoloz, who was unable to react to the middle distance shots of his rival. A lot of unforced errors for the Georgian, who had to work hard to keep his advantage from the onslaught of a relentless Greek. Stefanos' main weapon was the control of the distance in his backhand return (he basically left him a short and a long one) and with that he uncontrolled his opponent's response. Such was the Greek dominance that Tsitsipas closed the return with a break. So the public got the gift of seeing the definition in the third set hahaha.
The third set started with a Georgian break, after a couple of costly unforced errors by Stefanos; and while Nikoloz's parallel forehand kept hurting the Greek defense, the Athens-born player's drive failures were evident (so much that he fell down when he tangled his feet for the return). The strange thing was Tsitsipas' preference to profile in the execution of his backhand, instead of punishing with his drive, that seemed more insecure than anything else (my personal opinion). However, the gallantry of the Hellenic came to the surface to equalize the score, even going break up; then it is there where Nikoloz's courage comes to light to stay in the game and adapt to the strategy of his rival; when Stefanos played him high or low, Nikoloz responded with similar shots, returning the difficulty of these.
The seventh and eighth games were key, since the Georgian got a huge break to go up and then had the strength to resist the Greek attack, to the point of holding his serve and draw the advantage in the score of 5 - 3; in that instance the match was defined, because there was no time for reaction, coupled with the good control that Nikoloz kept in the moments of pressure. Basilashvili's forehand has been "almost" indecipherable for Tsitsipas, who was overcome by a lower ranked player, but with more heart.
Today the Georgian's determination and self-confidence overcame the great tennis wall of a Stefanos who, in his gesture, acknowledged the rival's victory. It was a great surprise and a great match.
For the fans and strangers, Nikoloz will play the semifinal against the last American in competition, Taylor Fritz. Who has emulated the epic to overcome my arch-favorite Alexander Zverev, also in three hard-fought sets; and that makes me reflect on the possible fatigue of this current top 5 of tennis. You know, I keep thinking about the first semifinal between Cameron Norrie and Grigor Dimitrov, as there may come out the next master of tennis in a totally unprecedented Indians Wells, both for its unusual date, as for its outstanding players.
See you the Next Time!
The opinion in this publication is of a personal nature on the part of the author.
The text has been translated with Deepl in its free version.