‘Rusty’ Alexei Popyrin reflects on winning his first match in 2022

Alexei Popyrin admitted he felt rusty in his first match of the season but he was glad he escaped with a win. 

Popyrin kicked off his season at the Melbourne Summer Set, where he beat Stefano Travaglia 7-6 (5) 6-3. 

“I came out rusty. I think that’s something that’s bound to happen after not playing for a while,” Popyrin said in his post-match interview, per The First Serve.

“First match of the year is always going to be difficult but I think I kept my composure really really well and served out the tough moments.”

Popyrin aims to do well in Australia

Popyrin, 22, is hoping to do well at the Melbourne Summer Set and then try to make a good result at the Australian Open. 

“It’s great to be back home and playing in front of the Aussie crowd. My confidence is always high every time I come to Australia. Playing in front of the home fans, it’s what you grow up dreaming of. Every time I step into Melbourne Park it feels like home to me. Just playing in front of the Aussie crowd always gets me pumped up. I really really enjoy playing at home,” Popyrin exclaimed.

Popyrin is aiming to have a big year and he knows being consistent throughout the year will be the key.  

“I think it’s just to keep the consistency. I started the year last year really really well and then kind of dropped off throughout the middle of the year, then picked it up the last few weeks of the year. For me, it’s just to keep a high level of tennis week in week out. It’s tough to do but that’s what we work for. That’s what I worked on pre-season for and that’s what I’m going to try and do throughout the year,” Popyrin explained. 

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