Tsitsipas downs de Minaur, wins first title of 2023

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates with the trophy. Photo: AFP/Alfredo Estrella

Los Cabos (Mexico): Stefanos Tsitsipas held off a spirited Alex de Minaur comeback to clinch his first title of the season at the Los Cabos Open, here on Saturday night.

The Greek earned his 10th career crown and extended his perfect ATP head-to-head record against de Minaur to 10-0 with a 6-3, 6-4 win on the Mexican Pacific coast.

The top-seeded Tsitsipas converted four of the nine break points he earned to wrap an 86-minute win over de Minaur. He held three points for a double-break lead in the second set at 6-3, 3-2, 0-40 before the fifth-seeded Australian roared back into the match. But Tsitsipas managed another crucial break for 5-4 en route to securing his 39th win of the 2023 season.

"I feel like both of us wanted to go out on the court today and show a great final," said Tsitsipas in his on-court interview.

"I feel like it was a great match. Alex showed great tennis, I tried to keep up with the level as much as I could. I’m really happy we were able to deliver a great final today. I think that is the thing that stands out the most. It was a great match and the crowd, as always, was fully present and engaged," he added.

Tsitsipas survived a three-set thriller against Nicolas Jarry in the quarterfinals but dropped no more than seven games in his other three victories over John Isner, Borna Coric and de Minaur on the way to his first outdoor hard-court title.

It was also the 24-year-old's first hard-court crown since he won Marseille indoors almost three years ago.

Tsitsipas will leapfrog Casper Ruud to No. 4 in the ATP rankings on Monday as a result of his Los Cabos run. The Greek has also risen one spot in the ATP Live Race To Turin this week, moving above Andrey Rublev into fourth as he chases a spot at the season-ending ATP Finals for the fifth consecutive year.

On the other hand, de Minaur, one of the grittiest players on Tour, has managed just one set in his past eight meetings with Tsitsipas.

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