Stefanos Tsitsipas managed to hold off a ferocious challenge from Italy’s Luca Nardi to book his place in the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.
The 19-year-old traded fire with fire before the third-seeded Greek managed to seal a competitive 7-6(2), 7-6(3) win in one-hour and 45-minutes. Tstisipas used his experience to outplay the promising teenager in key moments of the game with his serve bailing him out a couple of times against Nardi who was playing just his fifth tour-level main-draw match.
Despite facing the only two breakpoints of the game, the Greek won 84 per cent (41/49) of points behind his first serve on the way to his 12th consecutive tour-level win against Italian opponents.
After his win over Nardi, Tsitsipas will either face seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz or home favourite Alexander Bublik in the Astana Open quarterfinals as he looks for his first hardcourt crown since 2020.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic faced no such trouble against Cristian Garin in his first match of the ATP500 tournament, breezing past the Chilean 6-1,6-1.
Fresh from winning his 89th tour-level title in Tel Aviv, Djokovic maintained the same standards in a near flawless win on his tournament debut in Kazakhstan.
The Wimbledon champion put pressure on Garin from the start, romping to victory in just 61 minutes with the World no.81 powerless against his groundstrokes to drop to 0-3 against Djokovic in their career head-to-head.