Australian Open: Tsitsipas blasts past Italy's Caruso in first round

Australian Open: Tsitsipas blasts past Italy's Caruso in first round

(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara) Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece makes a forehand return to Italy's Salvatore Caruso during their first round singles match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020.

Later, he experienced it on the court.

Monday's meeting with Italian Salvatore Caruso on Margaret Court Arena will be the first test of that work as Tsitsipas looks to match, or even better, his sensational run to the semi-finals at Melbourne Park previous year.

Things weren't so comfortable for the Italian.

Stefanos Tsitsipas said he was left coughing and had trouble breathing even after practising indoors at the Australian Open, where the build-up has been dominated by fears about toxic smoke from bushfires. "I was hoping that it was not happening with a new (cut) but it can happen".

Sixth-ranked Tsitsipas has been touted as a potential victor at Melbourne Park where he had beaten Roger Federer in the fourth round amid a sensational run to the semi-finals previous year.

In a recent interview, the Greek player said that he has tried to have a balanced approach to his game. "Past year I did feel more as a kid who was trying to get confidence by doing certain things on the court", he said.

"It's much different than it was when I first came".

"I was really embarrassed to see myself in such situation, I was just holding everything and it exploded at some point", the world number six added.

While early days in the tournament, Tsitsipas is in line to face Novak Djokovic in a quarter-final which would mark their first meeting at a grand slam.

After a less than ideal re-introduction to Melbourne, when a training session in the bushfire smoke left him struggling with breathing problems, Tsitsipas is once again looking forward to playing in front of his vocal fans in Melbourne.

"I really like they come and support me because that gives me a lot of positives in my game. I don't really know why they want to go the extra mile some of the times", he said.

"I would describe it as a football field self-expression", Tsitsipas said.

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