He’s only 20 years old, but Stefanos Tsitsipas has already made his mark on the ATP Tour. The Greek tennis star claimed his second career ATP title over 31-year-old Mikhail Kukushkin in Marseille on Sunday.
Playing in his first final of 2019, Tsitsipas had no trouble holding serve in the first set. Up 6-5, he was able to break serve to close out the set.
Kukushkin came back strong in the second set to go up 3-2. However, his lead was short-lived. Closing out the set to level the match wasn’t in the cards as Tsitsipas was able to break back, and eventually sending the match to the tiebreak. The top seed took the match 7-5, 7-6 (5).
"I lost my serve at 5-4 and I had to win that service if I wanted to win the match," said Kukushkin. "I made a few mistakes in the tiebreak. From one point, it was a really great match. It was a great week for me.
"I was a solid all week. I did not drop a set before the final. I played a really good level of tennis. Of course, it is one of the best weeks of my life. Unfortunately, I was not able to win today, but this week, the way I played, was one of the best of my tennis career."
Tsitsipas, who lost to Gael Monfils in the Sofia Open quarterfinals earlier this month, did not drop a set en route to his victory. He fired 14 aces today.
"I lost the spark and I was frustrated because it felt like I couldn't find it again. This week, I can say I am really happy because I felt this hunger back again. I really hope it stays the same because there are many good players out there that play for the same prize."
The 20-year-old won his maiden trophy at the 2018 Intrum Stockholm Open. After beating Roger Federer in the Australian Open quarterfinals in January, he became the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist since 2007.
"Winning titles is the thing that I am working for...It is the biggest satisfaction and the biggest joy in tennis," said Tsitsipas.
He is currently ranked No. 12, but will most likely end the year inside the Top 10, or even Top 5.