Stefanos Tsitsipas has come a long way since making his debut on the professional circuit in 2016. The Greek talent has racked up five titles over the span of four seasons, with the icing on the cake of success at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals.
Tsitsipas had made himself noticed two summers ago, at the Rogers Cup in Toronto in 2018, when he reached the final after defeating Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic. In their very first match at the ATP level, Tsitsi won thanks to the score of 6-3 6-7 6-3 in what remains one of the most important victories of his entire career.
Interviewed by the 'ATP Uncovered' program, Stefanos recalled with great enthusiasm the 2018 Masters 1000 in Toronto, which gave him the awareness of being able to play with the best in the most prestigious stadiums.
Tsitsipas on his win over Novak Djokovic
“That match point, I couldn’t believe it, what had just happened,” Stefanos Tsitsipas said. “It was one of the best victories I'd had. I was actually not paying attention that much to if I was facing Novak Djokovic or whoever else.
I was concentrating on my game,” Tsitsipas continued. “I knew that if I would start thinking too much, then it wouldn’t be good for my game, so I said, ‘Keep playing, keep doing what you’re doing, you’re doing it well.'
" The World number 6 had a good final against Rafael Nadal, touching a sensational comeback in the second set. The Majorcan had outclassed Tsitsipas in Barcelona a few months before the Toronto final. “I lost to Rafa in Barcelona.
It is not easy to come back and play another final against Rafa,” Tsitsipas said. “I was a bit nervous, thinking too much, something I wasn’t doing before that” - concluded the semifinalist of the Australian Open 2019 (one of the big favorites to win the US Open 2020).
Nadal served for the title at 6-2, 5-4, but Tsitsipas broke back and held a set point to force a decider. The Spaniard saved that opportunity with a drop shot that trickled over the net cord, closing out his victory 6-2, 7-6(4).
Although Tsitsipas fell short of lifting the trophy, it was a confidence-building moment for the 19-year-old Greek. From there, he won the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals and has climbed as high as World No. 5.