Tennis: Tsitsipas 'loses to himself' in Rotterdam exit

Tsitsipas plays a forehand return to Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur.
Tsitsipas plays a forehand return to Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur.PHOTO: AFP

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AFP) - Rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas said he "lost to himself" after suffering a shock defeat at the ATP event in Rotterdam by Bosnian Damir Dzumhur on Wednesday (Feb 13).

The 20-year-old, who dumped out Roger Federer en route to the Australian Open semi-finals last month, saved two match points late in the third set but still slumped to a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 loss.

It was Dzumhur's first win since October after a run of four straight defeats, and Tsitsipas was left frustrated by an erratic display.

"I lost to myself, not to him," said the world number 12.

"He fools you, waits for you to make mistakes. He stands eight metres behind the baseline and plays with your strengths. He played nothing crazy or special, but you don't get any rhythm with him.

"The momentum was on my side but he kept putting the ball into the court and running."

Tsitsipas was seeded third at the Ahoy Arena, but has now lost three of his last four matches after following his Melbourne last-four thrashing by Rafael Nadal with a quarter-final exit at the hands of Gael Monfils in Sofia last week.

TSONGA CONTINUES INJURY COMEBACK

Earlier on Wednesday, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continued his strong form with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Italy's Thomas Fabbiano.

The Frenchman, who missed seven months of last season after knee surgery, continued his momentum after winning last weekend's tournament in Montpellier.

Tsonga, ranked 140th, spent just 66 minutes in dispatching qualifier Fabbiano.

The former Australian Open finalist, 33, was pleased with his showing as he won his 10th match from 12 since the start of the year.

"I played well in the first set and kept my level in the second," he said.

"My opponent raised (his) in the second but I held on.

"I've been working hard and trying to spend my time on court in a good way."

Tsonga next plays Dutch wildcard Tallon Griekspoor, who knocked out second seed Karen Khachanov on Tuesday and admitted he does not know much about the 211th-ranked home hope.

"I really don't know about him, but we will work on it. I'm playing good tennis and that's the most important thing for me," Tsonga said.

Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev won his opening match of the week, beating France's Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7/2), 6-2. Hungarian Marton Fucsovics put out 2016 Rotterdam champion Martin Klizan 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.

Like Tsonga, Medvedev, who turned 23 on Monday, also arrived in the Netherlands after winning a title, having claimed his fourth ATP tournament win in Sofia.

In the second round, Monfils reached the quarter-finals at the expense of Italy's Andreas Seppi, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.