World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas lost the Rome final versus Novak Djokovic but after the match showed his class and spoke extremely highly of his Rome final opponent. Tsitsipas, 23, failed to win his first Rome title as Djokovic handed the Greek a 6-0 7-6 (0) loss.
After easily losing the first set, Tsitsipas had a great chance to win the second set as he was 5-2 up through the opening seven games of the set. Unfortunately for Tsitsipas, he failed to serve out for the second set in the ninth game and paid the price as Djokovic completed a straight-set win in the tie-break.
“Novak is a great champion. I have so much respect for him. Every single decision he has made, I understand it, even the ones in the past. I support them. I think he’s a very wise person and he knows exactly what he’s doing when it comes to his career and his life.
He has everything tuned in close to perfection. When it comes to his diet or his everyday life, his tennis, he has everything scheduled out really well,” Tsitsupas said, per Tennis Majors.
Tsitsipas targets his first Grand Slam title
Last year, Tsitsipas reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the French Open.
Tsitsipas was up by two sets versus Djokovic in the 2021 French Open final but the Serb recovered to win in five sets. Now, 12 months later, Tsitsipas returns to the French Open hoping to make a Grand Slam breakthrough.
“It’s a marathon that I have to run. Roland Garros is a marathon Grand Slam. Every Grand Slam is a marathon Grand Slam, but specifically Roland Garros. It really takes the most out of you spiritually and physically when you’re out on the court.
Clay court has this ability to really squeeze every single part of you. You have to leave it, your all, out there. I’m ready to get a few days of rest and start practicing again to get into that Roland Garros mindset. I enjoy playing in this city. I really hope my tennis allows me to go deep this year," Tsitsipas said.