“All About the Fighting Spirit”: Stefanos Tsitsipas Opens Up on His ‘Spartan’ like Performance at the National Bank Open 2021

Published 08/11/2021, 1:33 AM EDT
Aug 10, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reacts after a point against Ugo Humbert of France (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports


Stefanos Tsitsipas has been at the heart of the action all throughout the season. From smashing records to unintentionally smashing racquets, the Greek international has steered headlines often. Rightly so, his heroics all year round have made him an instant fan favorite. Now, as he returns to Toronto, appearing at the National Bank Open 2021, his outing against Frenchman Ugo Humbert has won hearts and blown minds all across the globe.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas took on Ugo Humbert in the first-round clash of the Rogers Cup. Backed by a roaring crowd, the Greek dominated the game head-on and bagged the first set to his name. However, Ugo put on a tie-break masterclass in the second set, as the two battled for over 23 minutes, only for Stefanos to come close to winning, yet not close enough.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The game eventually ended in favor of the Greek, who renewed his mental strength and intensified his attack in the third set. Post his match, the youngster reacted to his thrilling victory, crediting fans and his roots for his ‘Spartan’ like performance.

“It is all about the fighting spirit” – Stefanos Tsitsipas

Winning the first set in a comfortable fashion, Stefanos was the favorite for the game. However, when Ugo toppled the Greek in the second set, he rattled his confidence as well. Undoubtedly, it would’ve taken something special from the Greek to recharge and attack again. Safe to say, whatever his locker-room mantra was, it did just the job needed.

Stefanos came out as good as new and shifted the momentum in his favor right away. Reflecting upon the same, he said, “It’s all about the fighting spirit. And I’m someone who doesn’t like to give up.

“Honestly, it wasn’t easy out there today. I had to put up a lot of effort and willingness to step it up and be my best today.”

“Things didn’t work out for me in the second set, plenty of opportunities, but I felt like a spartan in the third set and nothing stopped me.”

Explaining what playing like a Spartan means, he said, “You know, not much to describe it. I just love competition, I love the energy that competition brings.

“Through sport, through competition, I am able to show something that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Sport has taught me a lot, sport has taught me to be the person that I am to this day and sport has raised me in a very good way.” 

Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

12th man to the rescue

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The 2018 Rogers Cup was Stefanos’ breakout season. He defeated four of the top 10 in his campaign, becoming an instant favorite. Ever since then, fans have longed for the Greek to return and put his heroics on display. Speaking of the same, Stefanos rightly credits the unbelievable support he’s received in Toronto upon his return.

Aug 10, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Stefanos Tsitsipas fans celebrate during a match against Ugo Humbert of France (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

He said, “I have my crowd beside me. They give me energy, they give me support. I came here a few years ago and the least I can do is aim for the best of my game.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Undoubtedly, the Greek army will continue to back Stefanos as he marches forward in the tournament. Recently crowned as World No. 3, expectations are at an all-time high. Will the youngster live up to his new rank, or will he crumble under the pressure?

DIVE DEEPER

“I’m Ok to do it”: Daniil Medvedev on Changing Underwear On-Court During the National Bank Open 2021

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Melroy Fernandes

280 articles

Melroy Joseph Fernandes is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. A Mass Media graduate, Melroy has been a content writer for the past 6 years, curating stories for several brands, starting from his own. At the age of 17, Melroy began his writing Journey with Team BIB, an event management company for everything Art and Entertainment.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT