Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas, 22, bas acknowledged that he's not a NextGen player anymore when asked if one of NextGen players could become the next Grand Slam champion. At this past US Open, the game got a new Grand Slam champion when 26-year-old Dominic Thiem captured his maiden Major title after beating Alexander Zverev in the final.
Tsitsipas, seeded at No. 5, is now aiming to claim his maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open. World No. 6 Tsitsipas handed a straight-set defeat to rising Russian star Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-2 6-3 to reach his first semifinal at Roland Garros.
"First of all, I would like to tell you that I’m not a NextGen player any more. I'm a proper adult (smiling)," Tsitsipas acknowledged after beating Andrey Rublev, per Max Gao. "Second of all, for sure it's going to come at some point.
I mean, let's face it. Yeah, the big three have been there for a long time. I don't feel like it's going to be the same five, six years' time, I believe. "Third of all, I'm happy to be playing well enough, also be part of something so special.
I don't know, NextGen is not NextGen anymore. We are all young. I guess you can call it that way."
Tsitsipas speaks highly of Thiem
Thiem had been a Grand Slam for years before he finally captured his maiden Grand Slam a month ago at the US Open.
The Austrian finished runner-up in each of the past two French Open editions and also lost this year's Australian Open final to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. "Dominic inspires me a lot. What Dominic has achieved is amazing.
Being able to have back-to-back finals here at Roland Garros is truly inspiring. Dominic is someone that makes me understand the game & makes me want to push even further to reach what he has reached”. Thiem admitted playing the French Open just two weeks after winning the US Open wasn't ideal.
Thiem failed to reach his third consecutive final at the French Open as he was beaten in the quarterfinal by Diego Schwartzman. “[Dominic Thiem] is a nice guy off the court. Big workaholic on the court. He’s a very passionate person in every aspect.
We’re good friends. I think I can learn a lot from him and add it to my game. From the young guys, he’s someone that I look up to," Tsitsipas added.