Stefanos Tsitsipas responds to Maria Sakkari's plea, details why he'll probably pass

Tsitsipas candidly addresses the prospect of playing mixed doubles with Sakkari at the Paris Olympics.

by Dzevad Mesic
Stefanos Tsitsipas responds to Maria Sakkari's plea, details why he'll probably pass
© Getty Images Sport - Paul Kane

Stefanos Tsitsipas has pretty much confirmed that he won't be playing mixed doubles with Maria Sakkari at the Paris Olympics as the Greek tennis star noted that his focus is on competing in the singles and men's doubles events at the upcoming Games. 

Over the last couple of years, Tsitsipas, 25, and 28-year-old Sakkari have represented Greece several times in team competitions although they have never played together in a Grand Slam. And considering that it is the Olympic year, the belief was that Tsitsipas and Sakkari playing mixed doubles in Paris was set in stone.

But last week, world No. 6 Sakkari surprised everyone when she made a public plea to Tsitsipas to reconsider his choice and agree to play mixed doubles with her at the Paris Olympics. That's when the public realized that Tsitsipas surprisingly wasn't planning on playing mixed doubles with Sakkari at the Paris Olympics. 

"I would like to play mixed doubles because I really think we have a good chance, but as far as I know he's planning on not playing mixed because he's playing doubles with his brother," Sakkari said last week during the BJK Cup action.

"Everyone knows how good we can play. It's a 16-draw, you win two matches you're in the semis and then you get a chance to win a medal. That would be huge for our country. And the way that we play together, not many teams have that chemistry. I just feel like it would be unfortunate if we don't play together, but it's his decision. From my side I really want to play."

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Tsitsipas explains why he isn't planning on playing with Sakkari at the Paris Olympics

This past week, Tsitsipas put up his best run of the season to win his first title of the year at the Monte Carlo Masters. After ousting Casper Ruud 6-1 6-4 in the Monte Carlo final, Tsitsipas was asked to address Sakkari's comments and reveal his position on playing mixed doubles at the Paris Olympics. 

Answering the question, Tsitsipas underlined that the main focus is on the singles event, as well as playing doubles with his 23-year-old brother Petros. When it specifically comes to Sakkari's comments, Tsitsipas spoke extremely highly of the 28-year-old as a tennis player and agreed with her statement that this was a perfect opportunity for them to play together. But Tsitsipas' priority is not really playing mixed doubles with Sakkari.

"What I want to do is clear. If I manage to get in the Olympic Games with my brother Petros, I would want to play singles and doubles with him," Tsitsipas said.

"I would say that playing three events in a single tournament is a bit too much for me, physically taxing, and I would want to avoid that. I'm know that it's the Olympics and it's a great opportunity to play with Maria, and I completely agree she's one of the best partners to have in the mixed doubles field. I have had great moments with her.

"But at the same time, I have a dream with my brother I'd like to share and be one of the very few brothers that have ever played together in the Olympics, especially in tennis. Nothing is stronger than that dream, and I really want to make this possible for the both of us.

"It's family, and combining it with such a large event that dates back to ancient Greece, for us, it's bigger than anything else."

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari © Getty Images Sport - Paul Kane

Tsitsipas' history with his brother, Sakkari

Since debuting as a pair on the ATP Tour in 2019, the Tsitsipas brothers have been playing together in each year since. 

In their first couple of years, they didn't really have much success together. But then last fall, the Tsitsipas brothers put up their best run at an ATP 250 tournament in Antwerp, where they won their first title as a duo after edging out Ariel Behar and Adam Pavlasek 6-7 (5) 6-4 10-8. 

After the win, Tsitsipas described it as "the most emotional win" of his career and a dream come true. 

This year, the Tsitsipas brothers are 1-3 as their lone win came in the Davis Cup while their three losses came in the opening rounds of the Australian Open, Los Cabos and Acapulco.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Petros Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Petros Tsitsipas © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

With Sakkari, Tsitsipas debuted as a pair in 2019 and since then they have posted a 6-4 record together. 

In 2021, Tsitsipas and Sakkari teamed up for the mixed doubles event at the Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately for the Greek duo that entered with high hopes and as one of the favorites for the title, they managed to win just one match before losing to Ashleigh Barty and John Peers in the quarterfinal.

Earlier this year, Tsitsipas and Sakkari surprisingly went 0-2 in their two matches at the United Cup.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Maria Sakkari Olympics