In a press conference, Stefanos Tsitsipas recalled his straight-set Australian Open semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal. The Greek was very disappointed after the match but he hopes the trend will change. "It was definitely the most learning week in my career.
After that, staying the same person becomes a challenge. I do not have to be attracted by all what people think, but I am respectful. But when I do wake up, there is always a voice on my mind that says how much I want to win him, and how sweet the taste will be.
I will have to look forward. That's just the beginning," said Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas is not the usual athlete. He loves art and culture, he is creative and extravagant. During his childhood, in Greece, he was bullied. And he also had a few bad experiences recently.
"They saw me as a lazy Greek because of the economic crisis in my country. But yeah, what could I do about it? I found it difficult, I was still a kid. But now I gave the boomerang back to the people that thought it."
The 20-year-old also praised his father Apostolos: "He left his job as a tennis coach to lead me. What father takes this risk in the middle of a financial crisis? Sometimes that was heavy. Sometimes we thought about stopping, that was the most simple choice in economic terms.
But my parents saw something in me. We are a nice familiar company, that now can happily be managed by me." Tsitsipas also recalled when he made his first appearance in Rotterdam, two years ago as a world No. 205 losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 7-6.
"I do remember that match, it was very special for me, staying in such a big stage receiving a wild card which obviously wasn't an easy decision for the tournament director (Richard Krajicek) but I feel he did not regret that decision.
I tried to play my best in that match, I knew I felt like a young gun at the time, I did not have much success but mostly playing in Challenger tournaments, I did appreciate that opportunity a lot playing against such a top athlete like Jo and I quite went very close in that match, I had opportunities but I can still say that I learned a lot from that first round match that I had here, that was basically the first step to something big," said Tsitsipas, who also lost to Martin Klizan as the world no.
82 in three sets, 2-6 7-6 7-6, last year in the first round. He also reflected on what it means to him to be seeded: "Being seeded is important to have that extra confidence and as long as I play good tennis, winning, it does not matter."