“See Myself With Opportunities”: Stefanos Tsitsipas Opens Up on Playing Majors Against Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic

Published 04/21/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND -: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece embrace at the net after their singles match during Day Six of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena on November 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)


World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas is currently the man of the moment in the world of tennis. Recently, he picked up the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 title, becoming the first-ever Greek to do so. Now, he will play at the Barcelona Open 2021, where he also aims to win the title.

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However, Rafael Nadal, the record 11-time champion in Barcelona, will be his biggest threat there. Accordingly, the 22-year-old talked about the Spaniard, playing in Barcelona, the Turin race, and more at his pre-tournament press conference.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas will be satisfied with half of Rafael Nadal’s titles

Over the past few years, Stefanos Tsitsipas has gained a reputation as one of the best active clay-court players. Thus, playing on Spanish clay, which arguably has the world’s best clay, naturally feels like home to the Greek.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 18, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning the final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev with the trophy REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

“I have only played three times here, but I have the feeling that there have been many more. We have a great draw, and it will be interesting for me to see where I can go. I want to continue scoring points in the coming weeks,” Stefanos said.

(All quotes are translated from Spanish to English via Google Translate)

Interestingly, Russian Andrey Rublev stunned Rafael Nadal in Monte-Carlo Masters quarters before falling to Tsitsipas in the final. But this is unlikely to happen in the Spaniard’s home tournament in Barcelona.

The Greek met Nadal in the 2018 Barcelona Open final, which he claimed as the starting point of his career. Furthermore, Tsitsipas expressed his opinion on the Spaniard’s dominance in Barcelona.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 13, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his second round match against Russia’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

“I remember that the first time we played was precisely at Godó, in the final of 2018. It is true that I lost, but I learned a lot from the defeat. It is incredible that he has won 11 times here. I am satisfied with half of his titles,” the Monte-Carlo champion said.

Tsitsipas will begin his Barcelona campaign against home player Jaume Munar in the second round.

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Tsitsipas is an optimist when it comes to winning a Grand Slam title

Tsitsipas said being No. 1 in qualifying for the ATP Finals in Turin is good news for him. He added that staying in the top three till the season’s end would be the beginning of a big change.

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Lastly, the Greek reacted on whether he sees himself as a Grand Slam winner this year. He said, “I see myself with possibilities, but one thing is to think about it and the other to do it. I used to see Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic play as a child in the big tournaments, and now I’m playing the games against them.”

Undoubtedly, Tsitsipas is turning out to be one of the brightest prospects of the future, and it would not be a surprise to anyone if he lifts a Grand Slam title this year.

Do you think the Greek professional can win the French Open 2021?

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Purav Joshi

926 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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