Stefanos Tsitsipas would love to figure out the key to beat Rafael Nadal. The Greek player has lost all three matches he has played against the Spaniard including last year's finals in Toronto and Barcelona, and this year's Australian Open semi-finals.
Speaking about his first career title win at the 2018 Stockholm Open, Tsitsipas said: "The first time was really special. I played many ATP tournaments, I was closer to the win but I lost against Rafael Nadal, playing all my finals against Rafa bothered me.
Then I faced Gulbis in Stockholm. It was a relief. I wanted to stay focused because it was my first opportunity. Of course, I am happy to have won this tournament (Marseille), it has been a while since I won one, but the first was the most special."
Analyzing how he dealt with Mikhail Kukushkin's game in the Marseille Open final, Tsitsipas added: "It was strange. You always have to put the knees down, it's different than other players and it's bothering.
Sometimes the ball was not far from bouncing twice. It's frustrating but you get used to it. There is not much you can do." Asked how he felt before the final, Tsitsipas replied: "I felt pressure on my body. When you face this kind of player, it's difficult to stay relaxed.
But I work on it, I am more confident and I play stress-free. In some ways, it's good to have stress because it shows that's really important for you, that you really want it." At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Tsitsipas lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round.