Stefanos Tsitsipas has avoided a first-round loss at the Mexican Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Roman Safiullin.

The Greek continued his winning streak against players outside the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings to 11 in what was his first Head2Head win against the World No.39, having previously suffered a straight-sets loss in 2022.

Tsitsipas has moved up to No.10, having recently fell out for the first time in four years after an early exit at the Australian Open in January. The 25-year-old can secure his spot in the top 10 if he reaches the semi-finals.

“It’s one of those first rounds that you get good opponents and a very good, strong start from the beginning of the tournament,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview.

“I knew that dealing with Roman, he’s someone that can play good on these kinds of surfaces. He takes the ball early, pushes you back. That was the main thing I had to deal with today, which I did pretty well.”

Prior to the match, he pledged to donate $1000 for every ace he hit this week in Acapulco to the host city following the devastation of Hurricane Otis last October.

He hit five aces in his opening win, saving a lone break point he faced late in the opening set.

This takes the tally to $5000 in donations.

“(I was) serving well in those crucial, important moments,” Tsitsipas added.

“I didn’t let him get in too much. I kept moving him around the court and did my job excellently when it came to depth and positioning.”

It was a relatively stress-free outing for the top ranked Greek, who has previously reached the semi-finals in 2022 and the final in 2021.

Next up is Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli, who beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round, not before Tsitsipas teams with his brother Petros for doubles action against the team Brit Julian Cash and American Robert Galloway.