Together, they combined for 115 winners, including 43 aces, and neither player dropped serve (0/3 on break points). As the Aussie fan section “We The People” banged its drum courtside, Tsitsipas and the Greek fans shouting “Stefanos!” between points very much seemed like visitors trying to pull off an upset in enemy territory.
They came close. Tsitsipas, after losing the first-set tie-break, returned the favour in the second set to force a decider, where Tsitsipas saved a break point at 3-3, 30/40, the first break point either player saw since the third game of the second set.
But at 5/5 in the third-set tie-break, Kyrgios stymied Tsitsipas with a big second serve, and the Aussie unloaded on his next return for the win. The 24-year-old Aussie won their only other ATP Head2Head meeting 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7) last year in the Citi Open semi-finals in Washington, D.C.
“We had a difficult draw here in Brisbane, but we played with what we have," Tsitsipas said. "Canada, Australia... Germany, one of the strongest nations in the game, playing against a small, tiny little nation like Greece, which has no history in tennis at all? You got to feel proud. We fought very hard and we wanted to prove to the rest of the world that [we] can play tennis anywhere in the world.”