Match Chronicle

Tsitsipas beats Díaz Acosta, saving match points

The Greek advances suffering to the semifinals in Barcelona

April 19, 2024

Stefanos Ttsitsipas celebrates his pass to the semifinals of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2024.
By Staff

Coming back from 0-1 in sets, saving two match points and winning fewer points than his rival in the match (93 against 96). This is how dramatic Stefanos Tsitsipas’s qualification to the semifinals of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell has been.

The Greek, champion in Monte Carlo this weekend, had to play against the Argentine Facundo Díaz Acosta the most difficult match of his season on clay in 2024. For some reason he ended up winning in two hours and 32 minutes, and with sets of 4 -6, 6-3, 7-6(8). Perhaps we are talking about the best match of the week at the ATP 500 in Barcelona.

Especially the third set was the most agonizing period of the match. The No. 7 in the PIF ATP Rankings went from having a 3-1 lead in the decider to looking 3-4 and, on two occasions, two points away from being 3-5. That is, in that eighth game, Tsitsipas saved two break points, and in the next game he broke. However, he was unable to close out his serve, largely due to the two double faults he committed.

Díaz Acosta grew in confidence and even had a match point at 6-5 with his return. He was one point away from victory in his debut against a Top 10. The Greek had to row against the current from there. He raised the match point, and another one at 6/7 of the final tie-break, in which he reached 2/5. And in addition to resisting in adversity, he also had to resist in advantage. Only at the third match point, due to an unforced backhand error by the Argentine, was he able to claim his ninth consecutive victory.

“The game was like a mountain, I just reminded myself that I had to climb it,” he explained after the match. “It was extremely difficult to maintain the same level throughout the match. He played amazing. He left it all on the track. He is a great player on clay, he has a title on this surface for a reason, and he showed it with his level today.”

“I was being cautious with my service,” the Greek continues. “Obviously you want to go all out on your serve, and have free points, but that’s not how it works on clay. Clay doesn’t give you anything. You have to fight for every point. Plus, he was returning incredibly well and I got tense on my serve, I’m not going to lie. It was a very mental match. I had to go to uncomfortable places mentally and push my limits.”

The three-time finalist in Barcelona (2018, 2021, 2023) will now face Serbian Dusan Lajovic in the semifinals, who defeated Frenchman Arthur Fils at the end of the day with sets of 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The Greek leads the Lexus ATP HeadToHead 2-1 between them.


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