Stefanos Tsitsipas has taken one step closer to securing a three-peat in Marseille after defeating Lucas Pouille 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Open 13 Provence.
Tsitsipas defeated the former World No. 10 in 64 minutes, breaking Pouille’s serve four times. Tsitsipas won 86 per cent of his first-serve points and never found himself in trouble against the Frenchman, who had right elbow surgery last July.
“I figured [the tactics] out from early on and brought the top of my game,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “[I] haven’t played Lucas in a long time. Last time we practised in Australia [in 2019 and] I remember that year we both [made] the semis… It’s very unfortunate for him that he was injured for a long time. I think he deserves to be playing at the highest stage and his game has proved itself many times in the past.
“I knew going into the match that I was expecting difficulties. He has experience on the Tour, he has played great players, had great victories. I was dealing with a player with experience and a player who reads the game pretty well and knows his strengths.”
Tsitsipas will next play another home favourite in Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who beat Brit Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4.
“I’ve played Pierre in the past. He has a very difficult game. He comes to the net, serves pretty well,” Tsitsipas said.
“I’m expecting a different style than the one I got today. He will be very aggressive. I think that’s something that I have to expect and he goes for his shots.”
Tsitsipas said facing Top 10 players adds some increased pressure, but the Greek has recently been feeling well on court.
“[I’m] just trying to stay humble, it doesn’t matter where I’m standing in the [FedEx] ATP Rankings. Every opponent is a serious task. Each one of them has played matches in the past against top players and it’s rare that you find players without experience playing at this level,” Tsitsipas said.