Stefanos Tsitsipas says Roger Federer's influence and impact on tennis will probably never be matched by anyone. Federer, a former 20-time Grand Slam champion, is considered the ultimate tennis icon and many credit the Swiss for elevating tennis as a sport to another level and making it more popular.
In an interview with Kathimerini, Tsitsipas said Novak Djokovic is the greatest of all time if the numbers are the metric. But when it comes to who has had the biggest influence on tennis, Tsitsipas said there is no doubt it's Federer. “The finesse and beauty he brought to tennis, his magic on the court.
I don’t think anyone else will ever match him," Tsitsipas told Kathimerini.
Federer inspired Tsitsipas' one-handed backhand
Currently, Tsitsipas is one of the rare top players who plays a one-handed backhand.
During this year's US Open, Tsitsipas acknowledged today's tennis is leaning more toward the two-handed backhand. But Tsitsipas has no regrets over playing the one-handed backhand as he wanted to in a way be like his idol 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.