Tennis-Tsitsipas says Alcaraz 'biggest obstacle' ahead of quarter-final showdown

  • Tennis
  • Monday, 05 Jun 2023

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 4, 2023 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning his fourth round match against Italy's Lorenzo Musetti REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

PARIS (Reuters) - Stefanos Tsitsipas was effusive in his praise of world number one Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open again on Sunday, as the Greek fifth seed described the smiling assassin as one of the biggest obstacles in tennis ahead of their last eight clash.

Former Roland Garros runner-up Tsitsipas outclassed Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner 7-5 6-3 6-0 to set up a quarter-final showdown with top seed Alcaraz, where he will hope to seal a first win over the Spaniard in their fifth meeting.

"The clash we've been all waiting for. I think everyone was expecting it, weren't they? It's here. It's game on," Tsitsipas, who had described Alcaraz as a breath of fresh air to tennis for his charisma and constant smiles, told reporters.

Tsitsipas' last meeting with 20-year-old Alcaraz was on the claycourts of Barcelona, where he was comprehensively beaten 6-3 6-4 after falling to a three-set defeat at the same venue a year earlier.

"Carlos is someone that keeps the intensity high at all times. He's someone that's not going to give you gaps where his attention isn't there. He's very hyper. He's very energetic and you can see that on the court," Tsitsipas said.

"He adds a lot of that into the rallies, into his rituals when he is out there playing the game. He has a lot of that when he plays. I think it has helped him a lot.

"He has that smile that he said obviously helps him a lot. Right now he's one of the biggest obstacles and challenges for any player to compete against. It pushes us all to be better."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Paris, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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