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Tsitsipas on Making History with Greece
Stefanos Tsitsipas opens up on his struggles in his own country and explains his goal of making history for Greece. The young gun has shined in the ATP Tour as one of the best young players in the game since he emerged in the previous years.
Tsitsipas had a tough start this year. He lost the inaugural ATP Cup at the early stages with Team Greece riding at his back. The team was composed of young players who had little exposure to the action that Tsitsipas has played in the ATP.
Tsitsipas claims that Greece is who he is. He does not understand how many players in the game don’t feel the same way that he does for their countries. The young star says that everyone should be proud of their roots.
He said that it is quite easy to love his country simply because they have the richest language that allows one to express their thoughts and feelings in a deep way. They also have great views, clean water and beaches and of course - history.
‘I also know that I have to travel. To achieve my dreams, I have to stay at hotels most of the year and come back to Greece only every few months’, said Tsitsipas. ‘But that's my job, and even though I don't always want to do it, I do, which takes discipline, a trait that I have thanks to my mixed background’.
His father is Greek, while his mother is Russian. His father is working hard to help him out on the technical side of his game - especially his one-handed backhand and net skills. His mother teaches him the importance of discipline in the game.
At an early age, Tsitsipas knew that travelling and spending some time away from home could be the biggest challenge in his tennis career. He learned to love and embrace that part, and it allowed him to expand his horizons and outlook in life.
‘I used to cry a lot when I lost matches. Other times I reacted even worse’, Tsitsipas said. ‘Sometimes I would just freak out and run away from my parents and hide somewhere so they could never find me. I felt so embarrassed, so ashamed of my performance that I couldn't face them, or anyone’.
Tennis meant a lot to Tsitsipas since he was a kid. His father opted to give up his job when Stefanos was just a 12-year-old, and that risk was a big act of love for him.
‘I always know I'm on the court for a reason – to complete a job and make something at its finest’, said Tsitsipas. ‘I'm super hungry to win matches and get up in the ATP Rankings, to be the best in my country. Pressure about leading Greece? Never’.
He is the one who might be creating a new path for a lot of Greek kids to follow. He is hoping that he can inspire a lot of them and be remembered as the leader of tennis in his country.
Greece has seen the greatness of Tsitsipas grow from a young player into an unprecedented star in the game right now. Perhaps there is a reason why he is, after all, Mr. Greece.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores