TennisSection previews the 2022 Rotterdam Open as StefanosTsitsipas takes on Jiri Lehecka in the semifinal on Saturday, February 12th, 2022.
Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is not relenting just yet as he sets his eyes on walking away with the Rotterdam Open title. Tsitsipaswill play the newest kid on the block Jiri Lehecka who has taken everyone, including himself, by surprise.
Stefanos Tsitsipas passed his first major test of the 2022 Rotterdam Open with flying colors. The top-seeded Greek is looking to banish memories of losing in the semifinals of this tournament to Andrey Rublev. He overcame the quick-footed Alex De Minaur in straight sets to reach his second semifinal on these parts. Tsitsipas came into the match on the back of a resounding victory over Ilya Ivashka in which he was in full flight. And against De Minaur, he did not lose his bearings as he delivered another fine performance to thwart any hopes of an upset. Tsitsipas broke the Aussie three times in the match and planted 19 winners. He would also win an impressive 27 out of 33 first-serve points before closing out a 6-4 6-4 win and his seventh consecutive win in the head-to-head.
Stefanos Tsitsipas will next play Jiri Lehecka, who truth be told was virtually unknown on the main tour before this year. Still only 20, Lehecka is a household name on the ATP Challenger Tour but had to wait patiently for his breakthrough moment on the ATP Tour. He introduced himself in the grand winner, scoring a stirring win over Denis Shapovalov on his main draw debut. He has followed it up with two high-quality wins over Botic van de Zandschulp and Lorenzo Musetti to reach his first semifinal of the year. Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, Lehecka is guaranteed to leave the Rotterdam Open with a Top 100 ranking which was unthinkable at the start of the season.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jiri Lehecka have not met on the ATP Tour. Saturday’s match at the Rotterdam Open will be their first official meeting. Tsitsipas is the huge favorite by dint of his ranking and experience. Lehecka has proven to be worthy of his place in the semifinals, playing some incredible tennis of his short career. But unfortunately for him, I can’t see a second chapter in this fairytale. Tsitsipas dodged a bullet in that first round against Davidovich Fokina and has since gone into full throttle. Expect the Greek to cruise into his first final of the year.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets.
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