“It Was All Because of Greek Food”: Stefanos Tsitsipas Returns Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open 2021 Compliment

Published 03/06/2021, 11:30 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka after winning her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott


It started with an off-hand compliment for Stefanos Tsitsipas on his stunning comeback win against Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of this year’s Australian Open. And now, the Greek World Number 6 has responded with glowing praise for reigning women’s champion Naomi Osaka.

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In a courtside chat after beating Serena Williams in the semifinals at Melbourne Park, the Japanese World Number 2 quipped that she had started trying out “Greek food” after Tsitsipas’ win for the ages against the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Calls Naomi Osaka a “great human being”

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Now, in a chat on the sidelines of the ongoing ATP Rotterdam Open, the Greek has lavished praise on Osaka, calling her a “great human being”.

Also, the reigning US Open champion picked up her second Australian Open title this year, becoming only the second woman since Maria Sharapova to win four Grand Slam championships.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrating winning his quarterfinal match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Tsitsipas, who came through an epic three-setter against Russian Karen Khachanov on Friday to book a berth in Rotterdam semis, said he is “happy for her”, adding that she has been playing “unbelievable tennis”, especially in Grand Slams.

He added that he was delighted to see “women’s tennis being taken over by such an inspiring, such a charming player like her”.

Stefanos Tsitsipas says that the Souvlaki that Naomi Osaka ate may have had something to do with her Australian Open win

An eminently private and reserved person, Osaka isn’t known to mingle socially with her Tour mates. However, Stefanos revealed that he does keep in touch with her from time to time.

Naomi’s reserved profile hasn’t stopped her from being in a mutual admiration society with the long-haired Greek.

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Adding that it was “really good for the game to have players like her”, Tsitsipas said he is convinced that the Souvlaki (Greek delicacy) she ate ahead of the Australian Open final may have had something to do with how it turned out for her.

“She had Greek food apparently, and I’ll just tell her one thing: I think it was all because of Greek food,” the World Number 6 said.

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After ending idol Serena’s campaign at the last-four stage, Osaka trounced American Jennifer Brady in the final to lift the Australian Open crown.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

750 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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