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Tsitsipas, Schwartzman open with wins in Sydney

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas debuts at the Sydney International and navigates through to the quarterfinals, where he joins No.3 seed Diego Schwartzman.
9 January 2019, by Michael Beattie

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas shook off some late nerves to wrap up an otherwise comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory over Argentine Lucky Loser Guido Andreozzi, booking his spot in the Sydney Internationals quarterfinals on his fifth match point.

The 20-year-old world No.15 had edged a tight opening set before surging to a 5-1 lead in the second, only to be broken to love when serving for victory at 5-2.

Andreozzi saved two match points in the next game to force the Greek to serve it out, as the tension set in.

With his family cheering every point in the closing moments from the stands, Tsitsipas ventured forward to set up the fifth match point at the net, before volleying home the winner to seal victory in 75 minutes.

Tsitsipas, who had a bye in the first round, will face Italian No.8 seed Andreas Seppi for a place in the semifinals in Thursday’s first match on Ren Rosewall Arena, with the winner awaiting either No.3 seed Diego Schwartzman or Yoshihito Nishioka.

Seppi overcame Martin Klizan of Slovakia 7-6(2) 6-2.

Like Tsitsipas, Schwartzman played his first match of the tournament on Wednesday, downing qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-3.

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Indeed, it was the Argentine’s first match of 2019, but there were no signs of rust as he raced out to a 4-0 lead before the world No.101 got on the board.

Only at the start of the second set did the world No.19 look vulnerable, dropping serve to briefly trail 2-0 before breaking back in the next game.

He ended the match as it began, a sumptuous passing shot wrapping up a four-game streak from 2-3 down to seal victory in 65 minutes.

Another qualifier awaits in the quarterfinals in the shape of Nishioka, who eased past Andrey Rublev – who also emerged from qualifying to reach the second round – by a scoreline of 6-3 6-1.