“I’m Very Close”: Stefanos Tsitsipas Motivated to Catch Up With Novak Djokovic in Race to Turin

Published 07/14/2021, 11:43 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas after winning their final match REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is currently trailing Novak Djokovic at No.2 in the race to make the ATP Finals draw in Turin, said that it would be motivating to catch up with him.

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Tsitsipas held the lead in the race for Turin despite losing the Roland-Garros final to the Serbian.

However, with Djokovic following up on his second career French Open title by lifting his third straight Grand Slam this year at Wimbledon, the Greek dropped to No.2 in the race.

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The Serbian, who is level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Grand Slam titles apiece, has already qualified for the ATP Finals with 7,170 points.

Stefanos Tsitsipas trails Novak Djokovic at No.2 in race to Turin

Tsitsipas trails comfortably behind at second with 4,570 ranking points.

The Greek, who currently sits fourth in singles, couldn’t garner any ranking points at All England as he made a shocking first-round exit after losing to American Frances Tiafoe.

Speaking to Tennis TV, Tsitsipas, who reached the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 event in Hamburg on Wednesday with an emphatic win over German Dominik Koepfer, said, “Currently, it’s a big motivation (race to Turin). I know I’m very close (to Djokovic). I am motivated for a better second half of the season.”

He said that with a raft of hard court events scheduled in the United States in the weeks and months ahead, he senses an opportunity to pick up valuable ranking points and close the gap on Djokovic and, possibly, even take the lead.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his fourth round match against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Tsitsipas hopes to close the gap on Djokovic in US hardcourt leg

“There’s going to be a lot of action in the States with hard court tournaments, and I think there’s a gap for me to close there. Perhaps make a big amount of points and get in the lead again,” Tsitsipas said.

However, he was quick to add that for him to stay ship-shape and motivated for these events, he needs to take care of his body and stay mentally fit.

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“My body needs to be in the right state. And I need to be mentally healthy and fit to be able to get to that point again,” the current World No.4 added.

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Tsitsipas will play Serbian Filip Krajinovic for a place in the Hamburg semifinals on Thursday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 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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