Stefanos Tsitsipas got his definitive consecration at the Australian Open 2019, when he took away the satisfaction of eliminating defending champion Roger Federer in the round of 16. The Greek would also repeat himself at the ATP Finals that same year, having prevented the Basel phenomenon from returning to the Masters final.
The champion from Athens only lacks the acute in a Grand Slam, where he has never managed to go beyond the semifinals. The last - in chronological order - came at the Australian Open 2021, demonstrating the special feeling with the fields of Melbourne Park.
Stefanos, who had come back two sets behind Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, surrendered quite sharply to Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals. 'Tsitsi' may have paid for the mental and physical fatigue accumulated two days earlier against Rafa, even if the Greek talent refused to seek excuses by giving credit to the wild Russian.
During a recent interview with Tennisnews.gr, the son of Apostolos expressed all his admiration for the Big 3, still at the top of men's tennis despite his age.
Tsitsipas on his passion for Roger Federer
"Roger Federer in my eyes has done incredible things in tennis," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.
"Not that Novak Djokovic hasn't done it, but for me, Federer has always been an idol I grew up with. The things Djokovic has accomplished lately the last 7-8 years are unthinkable. He has raised its level so much, every year it seems to get better.
All I can say is a big thumbs up." According to Tsitsipas, the Next Gen players could elevate their game to a higher level than even Novak Djokovic's - if they fully immerse themselves into it. The Greek pointed out how Djokovic was himself far from the finished product in his early years, but through hard work and dedication he was able to become the near-perfect player he is today.
"If any of us take this sport even more seriously, he might improve on Novak Djokovic's levels as well," Tsitsipas said. "We saw (Djokovic) make a huge change in 2011 and become a completely different player, a player that no one could win, he was invincible!
I think something similar could be done in the new generation, why not?" Reflecting on his performance at the Australian Open 2021, Tsitsipas exited in the semifinal this year. During his journey, he registered an impressive victory against Rafael Nadal. In the match, he came back from two sets down, to eventually seal the match in his favor.