‘Don’t See Him as Top Player’: Stefanos Tsitsipas’ First Coach

Published 12/24/2021, 2:47 PM EST
Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece hits to Andy Murray of Great Britain (not pictured) on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


Stefanos Tsitsipas shined in the first half of the ATP tour this year, having made his debut Grand Slam final at the French Open and also clinching his first-ever Monte Carlo Masters title. The Greek was just one set away from winning his debut major title at Roland Garros before Novak Djokovic pulled off his usual comeback stunt.

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The Roland Garros heart-break haunted Tsitsipas at Wimbledon as he lost his opening round match to Frances Tiafoe. Since then, the Greek produced discouraging performances and ended the year after withdrawing midway from the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy.

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Coach Patrick Mouratoglou shares his first interaction with Stefanos Tsitsipas

The Greek underwent shoulder surgery and is all set to make a strong comeback in Australia next January. Recently, Tsitsipas‘ French coach Patrick Mouratoglou talked about the first time he saw Stefanos on a tennis court.

I was watching him and I asked the coach that was around his opinion about his tennis. Here’s his answer: ‘He’s slow. He has a low energy level. I don’t see him as a top player in the future because he’s playing good but nothing special and his physical level is too low'”. 

The French coach continued, “I told the coach that he was looking at what Stef didn’t have instead of focusing on what he already had in his game and what he could get in the future. So, everything this coach told me was good news for me”. 

Tsitsipas first joined the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in 2015 and later included Patrick as his coach alongside his father, Apostolos. During their subsequent interactions, Patrick identified what Tsitsipas could have become on the ATP tour and worked on the Greek player to fulfill that ambition.

Mouratoglou lists qualities of Tsitsipas during his initial days

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In the same video posted on his Instagram page, Mouratoglou mentioned four points that struck him when he was watching Tsitsipas play initially.

First, the level of Stef is good with a huge room for improvement. We chose a great potential. Second, Stef is better in matches than in practice. That’s a top quality that all the best competitors have. Three, he is physically weak, but he will get there. Four, his shots are good, but not great yet, and it’s because he has no physical impact”.

Oct 12, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) hits a shot against Fabio Fognini (ITA) during a third round match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Just like with many of his partnerships before, Patrick played a key role in converting Stefanos Tsitsipas from an amateur tennis player with a lot of talent to being the world-class athlete that he is now. The Greek star will soon fly to Australia to kick-start his preparations for the tennis summer in January.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

722 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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