Stefanos Tsitsipas admits struggling to get into Barcelona second round clash

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action

Monte Carlo Masters titlist Stefanos Tsitsipas has admitted that he struggled to get into his match against Ilya Ivashka at the Barcelona Open.

Tsitsipas eventually prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 in a match blighted by frequent rain delays.

Playing his first match in Barcelona, the Greek star said afterwards that he felt he had been at the tournament for a week.

As if the rain delays weren’t enough the decision to move the match from the centre court stadium to an outer court rankled ticket holders whose protests forced the match to be suspended again.

“I felt my mind was not really in that kind of fight or flight instinct on the court,” Tsitsipas said in a press conference.

“It feels like I’ve been here for a week, to be honest with you,” said Tsitsipas.

“It was a great relief to be out on the court and play some tennis until the fans started shouting again. But glad we were able to pull it through. Everything was created very well from my side and I was able to top it off with a good win at the end.”

Tsitsipas said it was a difficult experience given that he couldn’t even hit balls at all between the suspension of the match on Wednesday and its restart Thursday.

“I had no time today to warm up at all, to hit tennis balls. My first time was on court right before the match starts. It’s unusual. You don’t really get to be faced with those kinds of situations very often when you’re on the tour,” he said.

“I was trying to stay calm, take this one at a time. There isn’t much you can do, no one you can really blame for that. Weather is weather. You just have to deal with the circumstances.”

The World No 5 might have to pull double duty on Friday.

Tsitsipas takes on former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov in the third round, with the winner meeting rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz in the last eight later on Friday.