In an interview with Spazio Tennis, Yulia Tsitsipas commented on her son Stefanos's beginnings in tennis. The 20-year-old Greek defeated Roger Federer last month at the Australian Open fourth round. That was an emotional win on many levels.
"Like every passionate guy, Stefanos loves Roger Federer and he has inspired him, starting from the one-handed backhand", said Yulia, who was a former WTA player. "Stefanos plays an aggressive tennis, hits serve and volley, even on the second serve, as he is very tall.
He also appreciates Stan Wawrinka a lot, for his backhand. He also won a lot of matches saving match points." Tsitsipas reached the 2014 Orange Bowl final. In that tournament, he defeated older players like Tommy Paul, Taylor Fritz, Andrey Rublev, and lost just to Stefan Kozlov in three sets.
"That final was a gift from God, they started considering him as a good player, an endorsement approached him offering him a rich contract and he was able to add more people to his team. The transition from junior to pro is the most important stage, especially for guys.
I think it's important that a young guy plays the junior tour, at least the Grand Slams and the Grade A tournaments, although focusing on the game and technique, rather than results and rankings, is more useful."
What about parents/coaches vs son/player relationship? "It's always difficult, and it's the reason why in the beginning Apostolos and I hired an external coach because coaching your son can be good, but in the same time it hides issues that can influence your basics relationship. Sometimes there are tense moments but that's normal."