MATCH POINT: Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) def. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) in the 2022 Rotterdam first round.

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and defending champion Andrey Rublev got their ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament off to a winning start on Tuesday — but their roads to the second round in Rotterdam couldn’t have been more divergent.

Contesting his first match since the Australian Open semifinals, Tsitsipas had to fight past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina across three tight sets, 7-5, 6-7(1), 6-4. Rublev needed two sets to see off Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen and claim his third win of the 2022 season.

Tsitsipas has been spotted on the Rotterdam practice courts with Thomas Enqvist, and the partnership seems to already be paying off as the Greek player fired 15 aces against 22-year-old Davidovich Fokina.

"It was a great battle; he gave me some of the best tennis I have seen him play,” Tsitsipas said after the match. “He was very fired up today and making the best out of every single shot. He was hitting huge winners from behind the baseline. He's one of the best young players who I have played."


Rublev fired 23 winners to Laaksonen’s 16 and broke serve once in each set of his 6-4, 6-4 victory. Playing against the Swiss for the first time, the Russian revealed that part of his pre-match preparation involved recalling tips that his countryman Daniil Medvedev passed along.

“I didn’t know what to expect from Henri,” Rublev said in a post-match interview. “I know how tough he is because he had some great matches and great wins against great players. Even in Australia, he lost to Medvedev in the first round, and after the match Daniil told me he was super tough to play against.

“I didn’t know which level to expect, so I needed to analyze a bit. I’m happy with my performance and I’m happy with the way I was playing today.


Russians Karen Khachanov and No. 7 seed Aslan Karatsev were also in action on Tuesday. Khachanov needed two hours and 33 minutes to fight past Alexei Popyrin 7-6(4), 1-6, 7-6(6) and book a second-round meeting with No. 6 seed Cameron Norrie. Wild card Tallon Griekspoor came back from a set down to stun Karatsev 2-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(0).

Qualifier Jiri Lehecka claimed the biggest upset of the day over No. 5 seed Denis Shapovalov, with the No. 62-ranked Czech closing out the 6-4, 6-4 win in an hour and a half.

“It was a good match today from my side. Very happy with my performance,” Lehecka told “I knew that it would be a tough match of course, he’s No. 12 in the world. It is not easy against these types of players.”

No. 3 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and former World No. 1 Andy Murray will be in action on Wednesday as ATP 500 action continues in Rotterdam.