Stefanos Tsitsipas Reveals Growing Up Watching Pete Sampras and Admiring Roger Federer

Published 08/14/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
Aug 10, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates his win over Ugo Humbert of France (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports


Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas has been enjoying himself these past few days. It was his birthday not long ago, and around the same time, he became the new World No. 3. Incidentally, the Greek ace shares his birthday with another notable figure in tennis – American legend Pete Sampras.

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This was nothing short of a dream come true for a young Tsitsipas, who was in awe of Sampras’ flamboyance and the serve-volley combination. Stefanos remembers that his father would regularly give him the example of the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

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Talking about Sampras’ craft, the 23-year-old said, “He was always there. We always saw him as a big legend in our sport. His flamboyant game. I enjoyed watching his serve-and-volley game. People say Roger Federer is effortless. I also feel like Pete Sampras was very effortless and just making the game so beautiful to watch.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas in awe of Pete Sampras

It was Stefanos‘ father who first made him watch Pete compete, and soon, the father and son had a common liking for the American star. Tsitsipas also liked the manner in which Sampras decided to hang up his boots; he won the US Open in 2002 and ended his career right after that win. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas (left) and Roger Federer after the Men’s Singles semi-final match on day seven of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena, London. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

The World No.3 further added, “[Pete] was a player that he really liked to watch and he passed it on to me. Both of us grew up watching him. I grew up being given Pete as an example. That was the best ending of someone’s career, to be honest with you, to win a Grand Slam title and just call it a day. He did it in unbelievable style. Doesn’t get any better, I think.”

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Tsitsipas himself has only just begun to make his way to the top of the ladder in tennis. While he reached the semifinal at the Australian Open, he registered his best result in a Major by reaching the final at the French Open.

Sadly, he lost in the opening round at the Wimbledon Championships. It will be interesting to see how he performs at the US Open later this month. 

Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

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Rohan Kollare

1074 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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