Eurosport expert Mats Wilander feels Stefanos Tsitsipas’ backhand is in danger of holding him back from winning major events.
The Greek is among the favourites for French Open glory, but he has spent seven hours and 40 minutes on court over the course of his opening two rounds.
For the second match in a row, the No. 4 seed was given a severe test – as he took over four hours to beat Zdenek Kolar 6-3 7-6(8) 6-7(3) 7-6(7).
Wilander was hugely impressed with Tsitsipas’ fighting spirit and desire, but feels his backhand is not developing enough.
“The gameplan against Tsitsipas is pretty clear,” Wilander said in the Eurosport studio. “It’s simple against Tsitsipas, it’s hard to beat him, but you have to target that backhand of Tsitsipas.
“The backhand is not progressing. His fighting spirit is, but when the balls are heavy he is not getting much on it. Kolar was good at targeting it.”
Wilander feels the overall package is good, but wants the 23-year-old to find a way of getting more punch into the backhand.
“I think he plays smart tennis,” three-time French Open winner Wilander said. “He is serving well, but I don’t think he’s playing well at night. The forehand does not have the impact, the serve the same and he cannot hit the backhand the way he wants it.”
Tim Henman feels Tsitsipas could be in danger of emptying the tank too early in the tournament.
“He is delighted he got through to the third round, but that is taking up a lot of energy,” Henman said. “His opponents played well, but these are matches you think he should be getting through in straightforward fashion. He has not done that and further down the road it could cost him.”
Henman feels Tsitsipas’ body language suggests he’s not happy with the level of his form, as he threw his racquet down in frustration after sealing the win.
“He won the match but threw the racquet down,” Henman said. “It seems to me there is frustration and a bit of anger there and he’s not that happy with the way he’s been playing.
“It will be interesting to see how much energy Tsitsipas has left in the tank.”