World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas was on the ropes in his opening match at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday but battled back to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Kohlschreiber, a former Top 20 player, led 2-0 in the third set before Tsitsipas sprung back into form, winning six of the last seven games of the match to close it out and become the first Greek man to win an Olympic tennis match in singles since Augustos Zerlandis in 1924.

“It is an honor,” Tsitsipas told after the match. “It’s a big move for Greece—it’s a big move for this sport in Greece as well, and there’s joy in doing that.”

Up next for Tsitsipas will be a rematch against Frances Tiafoe, who took him out in a first-round stunner at Wimbledon four weeks ago. They’re 1-1 overall in their head-to-head.

“I’ve learned my lessons,” Tsitsipas said. “I try and move on better this time. He’s an opponent around my age group and we’re kind of building a rivalry.

“I’m going to have to raise my level this time.”

In all there were seven Top 10 men’s seeds in action on Sunday. In addition to No. 3 seed Tsitsipas, No. 4-seeded Alexander Zverev, No. 7-seeded Hubert Hurkacz and No. 8-seeded Diego Schwartzman were all among those advancing to the second round.

But three weren’t so lucky, most notably No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev, who fell to Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 6-4, in one of the toughest first-round match-ups in the men’s draw.


Nishikori's win over Rublev was his 40th career Top 10 win—but first since 2018.

Nishikori's win over Rublev was his 40th career Top 10 win—but first since 2018.

Nishikori may be ranked No. 69 right now but he’s a former No. 4, a Grand Slam finalist (2014 US Open), an Olympic medalist (he won the bronze in Rio de Janeiro in 2016) and he had also won the pair’s only previous meeting in straight sets at Cincinnati in 2018.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been playing like this,” he said. “I was struggling playing Top 10 players the last couple of months, or maybe all this year. This is the first time I’m playing a very solid match, so I’m happy of course beating Rublev, but also happy with my tennis.”

Nishikori actually snapped a 12-match losing streak against Top 10 players with his win over the No. 7-ranked Rublev—he hadn’t beaten a Top 10 player since his win over Roger Federer in the round-robin stage of the ATP Finals in November 2018.

The other two upsets saw Ilya Ivashka take out No. 10 seed Gael Monfils, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, and Australia’s Max Purcell beat No. 9 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-4, 7-6 (2).

Purcell was a late replacement for Andy Murray, who withdrew from the singles in Tokyo.