With Melbourne’s large Greek community eager to come out and support Stefanos Tsitsipas in large numbers, the young tennis star says he is ready “to play my best tennis” at the Australian Open and is determined to put on a great show for his fans tonight.
“[I am] really looking forward to this new challenge that I have in front of me, to show something,” Tsitsipas told ATP. “I have great memories from here last year, semi-finals, living the dream, playing with so much adrenaline. I really enjoy the crowd, the people's energy here.”
“I found more balance within me,” said Tsitsipas. “Before I was very inconsistent with my emotions. I could become, in a few of the matches, suddenly angry and frustrated… I've been really working on this. I think being balanced in my head and thinking in a straight line will help me.
Tsitsipas is rated by many as the most likely to break the three-year grip Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have held on the Grand Slam titles and the 21-year-old Greek said he wants to play his best tennis on the big stage.
“I think the Grand Slam tournaments are events where you try and bring the best out of you, when it comes to concentration when it comes to playing with energy, good footwork, being aggressive and being consistent point by point,” Tsitsipas added.
“A good start is always important, trying to conserve energy, trying to avoid playing long matches. I’ve been working on this mentally and technically, strategically, to avoid having difficulties in the early rounds.”
Tonight’s meeting at 7 pm (Melbourne time) with Italian Salvatore Caruso on Margaret Court Arena will be the first test of that work as Tsitsipas looks to match.
Greek fans supported Tsitsipas in great numbers last year, but the 2019 semi-finalist joked that he also wants to see his supporters embrace their own new challenge on their return to Melbourne Park this year.
“I hope they come with new chants,” said Tsitsipas. “I hear the same every single year.”
*Source: ATP and Reuters
*Images courtesy of @stefanostsitsipas98 Instagram