The training of Stefanos Tsitsipas with a Japanese shirt made many people wonder about his choice and the Greek tennis player, speaking to a Sportstar reporter, explained that he has many lessons to learn from the martial spirit of the samurai.
“The Japanese culture is a very modest, very fair culture in their society ... It has intrigued me in a way to follow it more closely, to learn from it,” the third seed told reporters on Saturday.
“I think there’s so many lessons you can take - even tennis players... The fighting spirit behind the Samurais, all these fighters that led Japan to its modern society today.
“Not many people know about the Japanese culture. I’ve been very interested in learning more about it. The Japanese jersey represents me at its fullest.”
In a recent interview with Wett Freunde, Tsitsipas spoke openly about the changes to his game on and off the court heading into the first grand slam of the year.
"I think I've matured a bit over the past few months, so I'm aware that if I'm able to fulfil my potential in Melbourne, I'll have a good chance of winning my first Grand Slam title in my career," he said.
"This also includes a bit of luck and certain details, such as how you are on the day, which will play an important role.
"I have a good feeling. I've been training hard in the last few weeks after my vacation, especially in the endurance area. Now I feel ready for this new season.
"On the court, I'm only concerned with my game and not at all with my opponent. It's all in the head anyway. If I make a wrong decision, it's my fault.
"It's understandable to feel some stress when stepping onto the pitch, especially when you're less confident.
"But when I play, I'm never scared. As a professional, it's my job to put on a show for the audience and entertain them.”
Tsitsipas became embroiled in a feud with Aussie star Nick Kyrgios during their clashes in 2022, which could lead to a hostile environment at Melbourne Park over the next fortnight.
His improved maturity will only help him deal with the external noise - as will the changes to the technical aspects of his game.
"I've improved a lot in my defensive play on the baseline. I've been toiling a lot in the past few months, both on the court and in the weight room," he said.
"I have completely changed my diet for this. I can now say that I sacrifice myself completely to achieve the highest goals. I've become more consistent, I make fewer mistakes, even if it's supposed to get better.
"That's also because I'm not as hectic as I used to be. This makes my game more efficient overall.
"I've also gotten smarter and have found that I always play better under pressure. I'm on the right track, but I don't intend to rest on my laurels.
"I am very hungry and I am convinced that I can still go much further.”
Tsitsipas will take on Quentin Halys in the first round at Margaret Court Arena on Monday night
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