Tsitsipas brothers Stefanos and Petros suffered a disappointing defeat to US pair Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul in the first round of the Australian Open doubles, losing 6-4 3-6 6-4.
While Stefanos played only last night, defeating Frenchman Gilles Simon in straight sets, Petros has not played since participating in a pro circuit in Tunisia last year. Clearly the more inexperienced player on the court at only 20-years-old, Petros was guided by his brother as the two communicated through hushed tones.
The two were unlucky to give away two break points to the Americans in the first set. Despite narrowing the gap and looking to make a comeback, the pair suffered a 6-4 set-loss.
A token of the American success in the first set was largely due to the strong serve by Mackenzie McDonald, who is ranked 192nd in the world ATP rankings. Stefanos’ serve is also to be commended however, claiming four aces in the first set.
The two Greeks still seemed in high spirits after the first set, cheered on by Greek attendees in the crowd. Stefanos stood out from the court decked in bright yellow this afternoon, as opposed to his brother who styled the Hellenic blue and white look.
The two teams played game-for-game in the second set, with neither side looking to give out. That is, until Petros Tsitsipas stepped up to the plate and helped earn the Greek duo a break point, eventually giving them a 5-3 lead. The Greeks cleaned up the second set 3-6 to bring the game into a decider third set.
The Greeks had an impressive 85 percent first serve win percentage after the conclusion of the second set.
While the third set started off well for Tsitsipas brothers, the match took a turn after the US duo earned a break point. From there, the two Greeks couldn’t regain their footing, losing points from unforced errors.
Aces turned to repeated double faults for the Greeks. The Tsitsipas brothers saw a spark of hope late in the set, earning a break point against their opponents to tighten the gap, yet unfortunately couldn’t bring the set any closer. The match finished 6-4 3-6 6-3 in favour of Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul.