- Stefanos Tsitsipas sailed through his Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon opener, knocking out American Tommy Paul, 6-1, 6-4.
The No. 2 seed played near-flawless tennis as he makes the most of a last chance to prepare for Roland Garros, securing victory in 75 minutes on Center Court.
Tsitsipas leads world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on the FedEx ATP Race to Turin after a Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo and a runner-up finish in Barcelona, but despite a full slate of clay-court tournaments, the Greek opted to add Lyon to his itinerary ahead of the second major tournament of 2021.
"I don’t feel exhausted, and I wanted to come to Lyon to test myself this week," he told ATPTour.com on Tuesday. "It’s another opportunity to show how far I can go and play more matches on clay."
A semifinalist for the first time at Roland Garros last fall, the world No. 5 was likely eager to forget a narrow defeat to Djokovic last week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Taking a wildcard into Lyon, he enjoyed a first-round bye before opening against Paul, who put down a comprehensive victory over a former world No. 5, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.