Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in action during his second round match against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany at the Sofia Open ATP 250 tennis tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, 07 February 2019. EPA

SOFIA: Stefanos Tsitsipas, who stunned Roger Federer on his way to a shock appearance in the Australian Open semi-finals, made a winning return to action on Thursday when he defeated Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to reach the Sofia Open quarter-finals.

Second seed Tsitsipas hit 10 aces on the way to victory in his first match since losing to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals in Melbourne last month.

The world number 12 will face seventh-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils, who moved through by defeating Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 6-3 for a place in the last four.

“I will have to be careful,” said Tsitsipas who stunned 20-time major winner Federer in the last-16 at the Australian Open.

“My opponent does unpredictable things on the court. Sometimes you don’t expect things and he’d play, I’d say, with your mind.

“He has seen my game, I have seen his... I just need to be careful and be aware of what he’s doing,” the Greek star told --AFP

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