Apostolos Tsitsipas is on top of the world right now and for a good reason. It’s a double celebration for the father and coach of 21-year-old Greek tennis star Stefanos, who was crowned ATP Finals champion on Monday in London.
In an interview with ATP Apostolos spoke about how much he has grown as a coach working with the young player who is currently ranked number 6 in the world: "With Stefanos, even though I studied so much, I just feel that I know very few things."
He also stressed, "You always need to be open-minded and ready to learn. Stefanos gave me such a chance to learn. I think he was the best university for me."
The jubilant coach also went on to say that it was by chance that he ended up in the tennis scene, as no one in his family had any involvement in the sport and in fact his family was more associated with football.
Despite helping his son make Greek tennis history and guiding Stefanos every step of his career, he doesn’t want any of the limelight and says he just feels fortunate enough that his son has chosen him.
“It's a big honour to have him next to me by my side. I love him. He loves me. We have been together since the age of 12, travelling together. I appreciate that”.
Apostolos met his wife and former professional tennis player, Julia Sergeyevna Apostoli, a Soviet-born tennis player from Greece in the Greek tennis scene in Athens.
Their first child, Stefanos, came into contact with the sport for the first time at the age of 3. Since then, both his mother and father have been helping Stefanos improve every day. Apostolos focused on his technique (the backhand with one hand) and his mother worked on discipline, "Always give your best," she would constantly remind Stefanos.
When Stefanos turned 12, his father took over as his coach, travelling with him to all the junior tournaments around the world. And today Apostolos is still there, next to Stefanos' side as his coach and father, applauding and encouraging his 21-year-old son in every endeavour.