Stefanos Tsitsipas: 'I feel close to Nadal, Djokovic, Federer'

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Stefanos Tsitsipas: 'I feel close to Nadal, Djokovic, Federer'

World no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas has been one of the players to beat in 2019, defeating all the rivals from the top and lifting the ATP Finals crown in London on debut. In a couple of days, the young Greek will make another first appearance, this time at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, joining a strong field of players at the 12th Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Stefanos will face Gael Monfils in the quarter-final, hoping to beat the Frenchman and set the semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic whom he beat in the quarter-final in Shanghai back in October. Stefanos feels ready for all the challenges at the Mubadala WTC and in 2020 overall, proving he can compete against the rivals from the top and planning to continue with that already from January when he will lead Greece at the ATP Cup.

"I know Gael pretty well, he is one of my best friends on the Tour and it will be exciting facing him," Tsitsipas said. "For me, it is a great way to start the season by competing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

It is a tournament I have never played in before and I am really looking forward to getting a few good matches under my belt before I travel to Australia. Looking at the strong line-up for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, it's going to be an exciting tournament.

I feel every match is important and it will help me mentally, knowing that I started the season in the best possible fashion. I feel I am close to the top, I have proved I can beat the top rivals in the last couple of years.

I can be persistent and consistent at the same time. For 2020, I plan to work on controlling my nerves on court, being patient, not cracking under pressure and being brave in match situations."