Stefanos Tsitsipas reveals he started playing a one-handed backhand because he wanted to be the successor of his idol Roger Federer. Federer, a former 20-time Grand Slam champion, had a masterclass one-handed backhand. Tsitsipas, 25, is one of the rare top players who play a one-handed backhand nowadays.
Following his US Open first-round win, world No 7 Tsitsipas explained that a double-handed backhand is more suitable for the conditions in which tennis is played nowadays. But Tsitsipas has no regrets as he wanted to be in a way like his idols Federer and Pete Sampras.
Tsitsipas: I play a one-handed backhand because of Federer
"Well, the game has definitely shifted more towards double-handed backhands. Safer shot, some may say; easier to control others may say. But I still have faith and belief in the single-handed backhand.
I'm here to kind of not have it die. I won't say successor, but the reason I do play a single-handed backhand is because of Roger. I kind of in a way want to be his successor, as big as this may sound. I'm not even near that yet, but he definitely gave me a reason to pursue a single-handed backhand.
That's definitely a reason why. Also Pete Sampras was my hero growing up. So these two tennis players make this shot for me extra special. It kind of sits in my heart deeply because I really want to be like them. I don't want to copy them, but I just want to acknowledge their greatness through that shot," Tsitsipas said.
Also, Tsitsipas revealed that as a kid he was switching from two-handed to one-handed backhands. But one day, Tsitsipas said he was all in on a one-handed backhand. "It's my signature shot today. It kind of defines me," Tsitsipas said.
Meanwhile, Tsitsipas is aiming to win this year's US Open and also follow his idol Federer in becoming a Grand Slam champion.
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