Stefanos Tsitsipas is the same guy he was five years ago - Sakkari

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Stefanos Tsitsipas is the same guy he was five years ago - Sakkari

In an interview with TennisHead Net, Maria Sakkari commented on her compatriot Stefanos Tsitsipas' success. Sakkari praised the 20-year-old for staying the same person despite becoming popular. "He's the same guy as he was five years ago", said Sakkari.

Sakkari feels home in some ways everywhere she goes: “There are Greeks everywhere. Whether I’m playing in Melbourne, New York, Cincinnati, Montreal or wherever I get a lot of support. You often see Greek flags and the fans make a lot of noise.

I really like it. Some opponents don’t like it, but there are plenty of fans from other countries who are just the same”. On people's expectations towards Greek athletes, she added: “Because we’ve been through a lot of things in the past as a country, I think Greek people like it when our athletes are very passionate and fiery."

On how she made a breakthrough to the WTA Tour, Sakkari said: “Maybe when I was 14 and I started having some good results at under-14 level. I was playing pretty well. I won the Latvian under-18 championships when I was 14.

So then I started thinking: ‘OK, let’s finish school and then we’ll see where we go from there.' ” Tsitsipas will be back on the Tour in Washington at the Citi Open. Last year he reached the semi-finals there losing to the eventual champion Alexander Zverev.