‘Needed to Get Our A**ES Kicked’ – Stefanos Tsitsipas Gets Real on Senior Rivals Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer

Published 01/24/2023, 1:46 AM EST
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece looks on after defeating Talon Griekspoor of Netherlands in straight sets 6-2 7-6 6-3 in the round 3 match between Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Talon Griekspoor of Netherlands Day 5 at the Australian Open Tennis 2023 at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia on 20 January 2023. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xPeterxDovganx 34781168

GQ has released their interviews of the seven upcoming stars in tennis. They are: Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Holger Rune and Casper Ruud. Each of the seven players has spoken about how the presence of the greats makes them learn the game. One of them believes that it is only possible to become “complete” after getting brutally slayed by the greats on the court.

The Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas is busy right now, gearing up for his quarter-final match in the Rod Laver Arena. After his performance in the year’s Australian Open, it is evident why he made the above statement. He has suffered losses against all The Big 3- Roger, Rafa, and Novak. With a career-high ranking of no.3, it remains to be seen today whether his philosophy works in his own life at all.

Stefanos Tsitsipas knows the formula to success


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Stefanos Tsitsipas is not particularly social like his fellow young ATP players. He usually keeps to himself, and his social media is full of his photography and philosophical quotes on Twitter. He somehow manages to find time for it amidst his busy tennis schedule, which keeps him packed with tournaments all year long.

However, when asked by GQ about The Big 3 in tennis and their impact on his game, he said,  “We needed to get our asses kicked by them in order to learn and grow, and be much more complete in what we do.”

Tsitsipas has a brilliant history with The Big 3. With Roger, there were some games he lost and in some, like the Australian Open 2019 or the ATP World Tour Finals, he scored a big win. The two have also teamed up for doubles. However, playing against Djokovic, Tsitsipas did not have much luck.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning his quarter final match REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

He only won twice against the tennis giant- once in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Shanghai Masters and before that in the 2018 Canadian Open. Today we are especially reminded of the 2021 Australian Open semi-final where Tsitsipas was up against Rafael Nadal. In a match that stretched to five sets, Tsitsipas finally zeroed in on the winner’s title.


‘They Gave Me an Injection’- Stefanos Tsitsipas Agrees With Rafael Nadal; Says He Could Play One of His Best Matches Without Pain

8 months ago


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Thus, it is evident that getting his “a** kicked” did prove incremental to Tsitsipas’ development in the game.

Tsitsipas does not feel like he can relate to the others

In the same interview with GQ, Tsitsipas talks about how he sometimes feels alienated regarding his principles in life. He would love to make friends with his fellow tennis stars, but there is something that holds him back. His philosophies in life are somewhat different from theirs.


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However, that does not stop him from giving his best on the court. Whatever his philosophy may be, the 24-year-old has shown so much grace and dexterity on the court that the world cannot help but applaud.



Annesha Banerjee

112 articles

Annesha Banerjee is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in English. Her love for tennis and other sports is influenced by her mother, who was a remarkable athlete back in the day.

Edited By: Tony Thomas