While Stefanos Tsitsipas had next-to-no trouble dispatching Gilles Simon at the Australian Open on Tuesday night, he found it a little trickier to navigate his post-match interview.
The World No.6 set up a second-round showdown with Thanasi Kokkinakis after powering past veteran Frenchman Simon 6-1 6-2 6-1.
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While the Greek star was in scintillating form during the match, his form in his on-court interview had fans gasping.
When asked if he was surprised by the lopsided scoreline against a veteran opponent like Simon, Tsitsipas was slightly brutal.
“I obviously wasn’t expecting it to come so easy, it was a great match from my side. I mean let's be honest,” he said, sparking some audible inhales of breath and jeers from spectators.
Tsitsipas reacted gingerly towards the crowd’s reaction, realising his mistake.
“Oh my god, I feel like I messed it up already,” he said.
“I think I played a spectacular match from beginning to end. I don't know what his tactic was but I was pressing a lot...”
After more gasps and laughter from the crowd, the Greek star joked: “I can just leave if you want me to.”
Interviewer Jim Courier quipped: “You were looking comfortable for sure, except for this interview, it's really awkward.”
Fans were more forgiving on social media, praising Tsitsipas for his refreshing and down-to-earth approach.
Poor guy, doing his best to convey in English and copping it.
— Marc (@QuantumFish777) February 9, 2021
It was funny! He’s a character 💙
— Liz J-K ☕️🇦🇺 (@lizkoroneos) February 9, 2021
That was brilliant. So much better than the standard “full credit to my opponent” bullshit. Great character and would be awesome at parties.
— Fing Shady (@brendenfingers) February 9, 2021
Aww, he's adorable. I didn't think it was strange at all, much better than the usual stoic post-match interviews with canned answers.
— Uma (@ubdlalala) February 9, 2021
Tsitsipas to face Kokkinakis in second round
Kokkinakis thundered down 19 aces in a 6-4 6-1 6-1 win over South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon earlier in the night.
The 24-year-old Aussie was reduced to tears after his first win at the Australian Open in six years.
Tsitsipas and Kokkinakis have never faced off in an ATP match, but they know each other well.
“I've known Thanasi for a long time,” Tsitsipas said.
“We’ve practised a lot of times, and he's a nice guy, but that won't really matter on the court.
“He had a great comeback. I saw his match before, it seems like he's in good shape. His game is there. I'll take him seriously.”
Meanwhile, newly crowned ATP Cup winners Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev continued their unbeaten summers to march into the second round.
Two days after guiding Russia to glory over Italy in the final of the prestigious teams event, Medvedev and Rublev returned to Melbourne Park to notch another couple of statement straight-set wins.
Fourth-seeded Medvedev crushed Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-2 6-2 6-4, while the seventh-seeded Rublev cast aside German Yannick Hanfmann 6-3 6-3 6-4.
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