What did Stefanos Tsitsipas learn from his straight sets loss to Rafael Nadal in the Toronto's Rogers Cup final? The 20-year-old Greek himself revealed it in his post-match press conference. 'Of how much I have to work', he admitted.
'How much gap there is between him and me in our games, and how much more I need to -- I don't know. I don't want to be rude, but bust my ass more on the court. Work more hours and become stronger and more solid baseliner.
And withstand pressures, physical pressures on the court that to him it just seems like nothing special. That's the big difference between my game and his game. And the patience that Rafa has is amazing. He never cracks. He will always grab you like a bulldog and always will have you -- he will always make you suffer on the court.
And it is amazing what he has built as a player. He was normal like all of us, and he managed to become this beast, this monster that he is today. I need to work much more, as I said, and hopefully I can reach his level one day.' Asked how he is feeling now, Tsitsipas replied: 'Tired.
And I'm actually hungry for more. I want to do well in Cinci again there. I'm looking forward to a match against (David) Goffin. It's going to be a tough one for sure. He played me last week, so he's a bit more prepared more than before.
And I'm going to have to get a good rest before that match, you know, like adjust to the new conditions there. I'm really hungry for more. I believe I can achieve much more this year. Although I lost today, I feel like I can still beat good players.
So I really want to make more points this year and get the best out of me.' Why did Tsitsipas play better in the second set than he did in the first? 'I tried analyzing of what I was doing wrong', Stefanos recognized.
'I tried remembering of how other opponents played against Rafa on hard courts, and that gave me an idea of how I should play against him. There were some guys that I was thinking of. I've seen many videos of Rafa on hard court, many of them he won.
Some of them he lost. So it start working on the second set. I mean, I started executed this plan after I got broken in the second set. It was pretty late but still I was there. And he got a bit tighter at 5-4 when he was serving for the match.
On my serve, I start feeling more and more relaxed and comfortable with my service games. And he was struggling returning my balls back, and taking control of the rally. So I even had a set point, actually. So I was very close to make something, and why not even win the third set? So it's a shame.' ALSO READ: Pat Cash blames Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray