He was riding high after a sensational Australian Open performance, but Stefanos Tsitsipas has been in the doldrums this past month.
The 20-year-old Greek world number 12’s latest defeat came at the hands of Bosnian Damir Dzumhur at the ATP event in Rotterdam on Wednesday.
The 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 loss came as a massive shock after he toppled Roger Federer in spectacular fashion en route to the Australian Open semi-finals in January.
Adding insult to injury was the fact that Dzumhur’s win was his first in more than four months.
“I lost to myself, not to him,” Tsitsipas said.
“He fools you, waits for you to make mistakes. He stands eight metres behind the baseline and plays with your strengths. He played nothing crazy or special, but you don’t get any rhythm with him.
“The momentum was on my side but he kept putting the ball into the court and running.”
The Greek dynamo has now lost three of his last four matches, including a thrashing at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final four, and and a quarter-final exit courtesy of Gael Monfils at last week’s Sofia Open.
Tsitsipas was seeded third for the Rotterdam tournament.
— Stefanos Tsitsipas (@StefTsitsipas) February 8, 2019
Stan Wawrinka’s has continued his impressive run after a disappointing season last year, which he spent recovering from knee surgery.
The 33-year-old broke a three-match losing streak against Milos Raonic to progress to the quarter-finals at Rotterdam after the 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory.
The world number 64 said he was feeling better than he had in quite some time.
“I was moving much better in this match than some of the others against him,” said the three-time Grand Slam title winner.
“This was my best match in many months. Some of my losses this season were close calls. I’m trying to push myself, I’m looking for results.”