Wonder shot helps Tsitsipas into second round in Melbourne

In his maiden encounter at the Australian Open on Monday, Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame fortunate loser Zizou Bergs and advanced to the second round with an incredible, balletic stroke.

The world number 129 defeated the seventh-seeded Greek player in the first set at Rod Laver Arena, although he did get a break point early in the second set when his Belgian opponent sent the ball narrowly over the net.

Tsitsipas raced in and reached over into the other side of the court to slap the ball off the ground towards the umpire and win the point, all the while somehow managing to avoid touching the net to avoid being penalised.

The crowd gasped and Bergs put his hand over his mouth in astonishment as Tsitsipas took the break and a 2-0 lead on his way to a 5-7 6-1 6-1 6-3 victory.

“That shot was extraordinary, I don’t even know how I got that shot,” Tsitsipas said.

“I thought for a split second when he hit that underspin volley ‘that’s it, I’ll have to prepare for the next point’.

“But I guess not wanting to give up and just giving it a try gave me the point that I believe turned around the match today.”

Tsitsipas was supposed to play Matteo Berrettini in the first round but the Italian withdrew with a foot injury on Sunday and he instead faced Bergs.

“Things like this are dangerous when you are preparing many days in a row for a specific kind of player or opponent,” added Tsitsipas, who lost to Novak Djokovic in last year’s final.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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