Jan 19, 2023 at 10:05 am
Tallon Greek track is confidently looking forward to his duel with Stefanos Tsitsipás in the third round of the Australian Open. The number two in the Netherlands, who has won everything so far this year, feels much stronger after a painful year 2022.
“Come on Friday,” says the Greek track to the ANP. “It’s going to be very tough, because he’s in good shape and always plays well here. On the other hand, I have little to lose. I’m playing incredibly well and have a lot of confidence. I’m really looking forward to it, especially because the game will be played on a large court.”
Greek track has already booked six victories in 2023. He started the season with the title in Pune, India. That was his first overall victory at an ATP tournament. The contrast with the end of last year is great. At the Davis Cup Finals in Málaga, Greek track lost to Australian Jordan Thompson and afterwards he said it was the most painful defeat of his career. He was through it and wanted to forget 2022 as soon as possible.
“There was a little switch. I was like: I can do better than this. I had something to prove. December was a really good month and I put in a lot of hours physically. Maybe I just got a few percent extra given. I’ve been put on edge.”
“It is unbelievable that it falls like this in Pune, I did not expect that either. It is very nice that I am able to continue the form in Melbourne. Self-confidence is good for a tennis player and that makes you play well. Winning games only makes you better.”
Stefanos Tsitsipás is the number four in the world ranking. Photo: Getty Images
Greek track plays in Rod Laver Arena for the first time
At the Australian Open, the 26-year-old Greek track was too strong for the Russian Pavel Kotov in the first round, after which he dealt with Botic van de Zandschulp without losing a set on Wednesday. Now waiting with the 24-year-old Tsitsipás, who has already reached the semi-finals three times at the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, an absolute world top player.
It will be the first time that the Greek track plays in the Rod Laver Arena. Last year he was supposed to compete against Rafael Nadal at a preparatory tournament in Melbourne, but then the North Hollander had to withdraw from the duel with his former idol with a foot injury.
In 2021, the Greek track already played once in the main stadium of the US Open, the Arthur Ashe Stadium. He then had no chance against Novak Djokovic and spoke after a frightening experience. “I found Djokovic very scary and I would prefer to never play against him again. It almost seemed like an impossible challenge, playing against Novak on hard court.”
Beeld: Getty Images
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