Stefanos Tsitsipas absolutely loved his ATP Finals debut as the Greek admitted he felt "really cool" competing in the same tournament as the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Tsitsipas, 25, debuted at the ATP Finals in 2019, when the tournament was still staged at The O2 Arena in London.
Although Tsitsipas didn't have any previous ATP Finals experience and the Big Three were his rivals, he still impressively managed to win it all in his first appearance at the prestigious season-ending tournament. That year, Tsitsipas was beaten by Nadal in his final group stage match but still reached the semifinal, where he beat Federer before also defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final.
Tsitsipas recounts his ATP Finals debut
“The ATP Finals is an amazing experience for any tennis player to be a part of. I remember stepping the first time and feeling the thrill of the Finals. I had all my idols playing in the finals.
Roger was there. Rafa was there. Novak was there. The Big Three was there. At the time I was just enjoying the process, enjoying being a part of it. I was like ‘How cool that the name Tsitsipas is among those guys?’ I ended up playing some of my best tennis ever in that tournament.
It felt really cool being part of that. Every single year that I get to qualify, it brings back memories of the very first time I stepped on the court at the O2 Arena. It’s one of those things that I feel is undervalued in tennis.
The ATP Finals is sometimes even bigger than a slam in my opinion. In terms of how tough the matches are, you have to play the best players that year that have played the best, most incredible tennis from start to finish. In a way, it’s a separate challenge than having to play a Slam.
Sometimes, I would compare it to the Super Bowl, for example. It’s the best of the best," Tsitsipas said on Tennis Channel, via The Tennis Letter.
This year in Turin, Tsitsipas is making his fifth ATP Finals appearance.
Stefanos Tsitsipas remembers playing the ATP Finals for the first time with all of his idols, Federer, Nadal, & Djokovic:
“The ATP Finals is an amazing experience for any tennis player to be a part of.
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