Tsitsipas sends ‘goodbye’ to clay in Madrid Open win

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton Canadian tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas pauses in the fourth set while he waits to serve to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut during the Rome Masters tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, Sunday, May 6, 2018.

SPAIN — After a gruelling six hours and 45 minutes, Stefanos Tsitsipas finally sent a final “goodbye” to the clay in which he has spent years building his tennis career.

The big-serving Greek left-hander cruised to a 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory over Roberto Bautista Agut in the Madrid Open final and although his outing on the day had little to do with tennis, the 21-year-old nonetheless managed to scratch a smile out of the grueling match.

He was quick to apologize for any of the inconvenience he had caused his fans and promised to return “a much better version” of himself to the US Open next month.

After cruising through three matches on clay to qualify for the Madrid event last week, Tsitsipas was floored by the summer weather conditions and took a day’s rest between matches. The floodlights were then turned on for the final.

Tennis players have it tough enough without the other players on the court causing them no end of aggravation by putting their noses in their grinders.

His days on clay may be numbered and everyone knows it, but if anyone can get through to the top after an extended wait, it’s probably Tsitsipas.

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