Stefanos Tsitsipas needed ‘fighting spirit’ to reach Mallorca last four

Stefanos Tsitsipas notched back-to-back victories on grass for the first time this season as he clawed his way into the Mallorca semi-finals.

Tsitsipas had to come through an intense battle against American Marcos Giron at the Mallorca Championships on Thursday to reach his first tour-level semi-final on grass.

The World No 6 wasn’t at his best but dug deep to get the result on grass with Wimbledon looming large.

He would claim the quarterfinals encounter 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 35 minutes, and afterwards reflected on what it took to put Giron away.

“It was a lot of work today. It was not easy,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “I had to deal with the heat, had to deal with my opponent playing great. It was a big physical effort. I had the fighting spirit.”

Tsitsipas needed to show his fighting spirit in a tense third set that took him to the very limit.

The second seed saved a crucial pair of break points that he faced to hold his serve for 1-0.

However, Tsitsipas gained the decisive break in the eighth game and went on to improve to 2-0 in his career head to head series against Giron.

Tsitsipas has had a rollercoaster season, but success has been plentiful as his 38 match wins in 2022 to date attest to.

The Greek star will next play Benjamin Bonzi after the Frenchman downed Germany’s Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-4, in the first singles match of the day at the Rafael Nadal-run tournament.

Tsitsipas has backed himself to turn around a modest career record on grass, and takes a step closer to a first title on the surface.

He would, of course, love to head into Wimbledon with s second title for the season already under his belt.

In other action on Thursday, Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut upset World No 1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev to book his place in the last four.

The Spaniard will meet either Switerland’s Antoine Bellier or Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in the last four, with the pair contesting the final quarterfinal on Thursday afternoon.