19 year old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas recorded his first top ten win beating Belgian David Goffin 2-6 7-6(1)7-6(4) at the European Open, in Antwerp on Friday. With the win, Tsitsipas will now make his top 100 debut in the Emirates ATP rankings on Monday.Tsitsipas served for the match twice in the third set before ultimately beating the hometown favorite in the deciding tiebreaker. After coming through qualifying he’s taken advantage of a favorable draw. In the first round he defeated Pablo Cuevas who hasn’t won a match since the French Open in May. He was then able to get past big serving Ivo Karlovic who was forced to retire after suffering a left ankle injury in the second set.
Tsitsipas who is a former #1 junior, has had success at the challenger level this season and now that’s starting to translate in to wins on the ATP tour. In September, Tsitsipas won his first challenger in Genova, Italy beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the final. He’s shown in his first year on tour that he can play on any surface. Besides winning the Genova challenger on clay, he also qualified for the French Open before losing to Ivo Karlovic in the first round. He made it through qualifying at Wimbledon winning three matches on grass before falling to Dusan Lajovic. Just last week in Shanghai, he won his first tour level match defeating another Next Gen player Karen Khachanov. His level of talent seems to be right up there with Canadian Denis Shapovalov who made a name for himself this summer at the Rogers Cup, and the US Open.
Next up for Tsitsipas in the semifinals is Argentinian Diego Schwartzman. Schwartzman’s counterpunching style is similar to Goffin’s, so it’ll be interesting to see how Tsitsipas back’s up his first top ten win. Tsitsipas is also still in the running for a spot at the Next Gen ATP finals in Milan in three weeks. He’s sitting at the ten spot currently, and can make ground with a win tomorrow with 60 ranking points up for grabs. The rise in the rankings also almost assures him a spot in the Australian Open main draw in January. He’s currently sitting at 95 in the world after rising 27 spots so far this week, which should go up if he’s able to put a few more good weeks together after not having much to defend from last year.