Stefanos Tsitsipas says he lost his first round match at Wimbledon on Monday because he wasn’t able to adapt to the grass surface.
Tsitsipas reached his first ever Grand Slam final two weeks ago at Roland Garros and then chose not to play a grass warm-up event ahead of the All England Championships.
That decision looks to have back-fired with the world number four losing his first round match to Frances Tiafoe who won in three straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
After the match, the Greek admitted that the lack of grass practice and his inability to adapt from the clay surface was the deciding factor.
“For sure lack of matches was crucial today,” said Tsitsipas.
“The transition from clay to grass, in my opinion, is probably the most difficult one, if not the biggest challenge in our sport. I just wasn’t able to adapt.
“I obviously didn’t want it to be like this, to get to the point where I’m completely out of control.
“There wasn’t that same fighting spirit that I usually put out on the court. I would like to see a different me next time. There have been times that I was much more motivated than this. But that’s no reason for me not to play well.”
Tsitsipas, who was seeded third, believes that his game would be suited to grass because he started to play better the longer the match went on and will learn from that in the future.
“I was thinking maybe I should have played either Mallorca or Eastbourne. These tournaments would have helped get me in a better shaper,” Tsitsipas admitted.
“I would like to pinpoint and say that I have all the qualities and the game to play on grass.
“I kind of started feeling my game a bit better towards the end of the third set. I just wish the match would have started in the third set. I wasn’t able to maintain the intensity.”
“It could have worked. But it was too late. I also missed some other things that I later discovered, [which] could have helped me. It was kind of late.
“When you’re two sets to love down, especially on grass, everything is measured up to details, everything is in the details.
“It’s not like clay where you are two sets to love down, it’s kind of a different rhythm, a different pace, precision is not the most important thing. You can fight your way out of it.”
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