Tennis - Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, ranked No. 6 in the world, is the latest player to be featured in the Behind the Racket series by Noah Rubin. In the post, Tsitsipas talks about being introverted as a child and not having many friends, which he though would change when he played on the tour.
However, the Greek player says that most players keep to themselves on the tour and that they take the game too seriously, adding that having friends on the tour would make travelling less lonely. Tsitsipas is the latest player to be featured on the series and talk about his experience on the circuit.
The series has been started by ATP player Noah Rubin to provide players with a platform to talk about their personal and professional journeys. Here is a link to the post on Instagram.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is currently ranked No.
That's when I understood my potential. In the beginning, I traveled with only my dad. Now, I travel with my dad, mom, and three siblings. I'm the main source of income for my family. I have hobbies that keep me interested in different aspects of life.
These activities keep me creative and are reflected in my tennis game. Sometimes, I post things on my social media that not many people understand. These posts express my inner creativity. I put Stefanos’ twist on life. I am philosophical, I come from a country with a history of philosophy and I don't know if I was Pythagoras or Socrates in my previous life, but I wouldn't mind being either one.
There was a time when I wasn't doing well. I started to play futures and was doubting myself. I wasn't sure if I was good enough to play professional tennis. My country was on the verge of bankruptcy. The entire population was suffering.
My father's siblings were unemployed and couldn't feed their families. People looked at me like I was the one ruling the country and they thought I was part of the problem. I felt isolated. I wasn't home to see what was going on because I was traveling.
I needed support. My mental coach shared his wisdom and inspired me. Then I said to myself, ‘You've dedicated your entire life to tennis, you can't just give up. You’ve got to keep going.’ I play tennis to prove that my country has a great history and can achieve success.
Tennis is a very introverted sport and we face everything alone. We have a team that follows us all over the world but I have spent countless sleepless nights on my own. All the traveling and competing causes a lot of stress and I grew very lonely. I was an introverted child and didn't have many friends.
When I started playing on tour, I thought I would develop friendships but it turned out to be the opposite. Most players keep to themselves. I feel like players don't want to become friends because they think someone will grab a secret from you to beat you.
I guess they're just too serious about the whole thing. Friends would make traveling less lonely.” @stefanostsitsipas98 #BTR
6 in the world and has a career-high ranking of No. 5. The Greek is the reigning champion at the ATP Finals, and is the youngest winner of the year-end championships in eighteen years. He has won five ATP singles titles and reached ten finals on the ATP Tour.
Tsitsipas comes from a tennis family as his mother was a professional player on the women's WTA Tour and started playing tennis when he was very young. Tsitsipas became the top-ranked junior in the world in 2016, winning the Grade A title at the Trofeo Bonfiglio and the European Junior Championships later.
He also won the junior doubles Grand Slam event at Wimbledon - becoming the first Greek male to win a junior Grand Slam in the Open Era, and the second overall after Nicky Kalogeropoulos won both the French Open and Wimbledon in 1963.
He also reached the semi-finals in singles of both the Wimbledon and the US Open events in juniors.. Tsitsipas has been training at the Mouratoglou Academy in France since 2015. Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the semi-finals of the 2019 Australian Open - the first time he reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event.
This year, he lost to Canada's Milos Raonic in the third round. He won the Open 13 tournament, winning his 5th ATP title, whereby he defeated Félix Auger-Aliassime in the final and then reached the final at the Dubai Tennis Championships, losing in straight sets to World No.
1 Novak Djokovic. The Greek player is considered to be one of the NextGen players in the men's game who are looking to make a breakthrough at the Grand Slams and end the reign of the Big Three - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. He has won over $11 million in career prize money.