Historic Qualification for the Young Tsitsipas in Paris
Stefanos Tsitsipas qualified for the main draw of the Roland Garros (French Open) after winning three consecutive qualifying matches. The 18-year old will be the first male Greek tennis player to compete in a major since 2008.
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It has been an exciting week at Roland Garros for 18-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, the former junior (U18) world number one. This talented Greek tennis player won three consecutive qualifying matches to make it to the main draw of Roland Garros (also known as the French Open). He now becomes only the third Greek athlete to ever participate in the main draw of a major, and the first since the 2008 Australian Open.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that he qualified for a major tournament at such a young age, a very rare feat that all Greeks should be proud of. Aside from Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray, only a handful of active players had played in the main draw of majors at such a young age. While it remains to be seen whether Tsitsipas will follow in their footsteps, these are definitely exciting times for Greek tennis fans.
Tsitsipas began his week in the first round of qualifying against the sixth-seeded player in the draw, Thomas Fabbiano of Italy (world number 103). After losing the first set 6-3 and going down a break early on in the second set, the Greek player looked down and out. However, he fought back to win the match by the score of 3-6 6-3 6-1.
In the next round, he faced Gleb Sakharov, a French player in his home tournament. Tsitsipas proved too strong for the Frenchman, taking the match 6-3 6-3. This win put Tsitsipas into the third (and final) qualifying round, where he had to face the unseeded German Oscar Otte.
Despite going down an early break, Tsitsipas cruised to take the match in straight sets, 6-3 6-2. With this victory, Tsitsipas will be the youngest player out of the 128 that are competing in the men’s draw this year
Tsitsipas will be the second Greek player competing in this year’s main draw, as Maria Sakkari will be competing in the women’s tournament. Due to her high position in the world rankings, she was automatically qualified for the main draw and therefore did not need to play in the qualifying rounds. The draw ceremony will be held Friday afternoon in Paris, where Tsitsipas and Sakkari will learn who their main draw opponents will be.
20-year-old Valentini Grammatikopoulou also competed in qualifying this year. Despite a 6-4 6-3 first round win over Australia’s Lizette Cabrera, she came up short in the second round against the Swiss Jil Teichmann, losing 6-0 6-2.