How Stefanos Tsitsipas announced himself on the biggest stage after beating his idol Federer

How Stefanos Tsitsipas announced himself on the biggest stage after beating his idol Federer

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the youngest player ranked in the top 20 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and has a career-high ranking of No. 12 in the February 2019 ATP world ranking.

He became the first player representing Greece to win an ATP title at the Stockholm Open towards the end of 2018, before winning the Next Gen Finals a few weeks later.


 

Tsitsipas was introduced to the sport at age three and began taking lessons at age six.

 

In pursuit of his dream to become Greece’s first Grand Slam singles champion, Stefanos Tsitsipas was glued to his computer screen, watching YouTube footage of his idol Roger Federer which for him was one method he chose as he sought to become one of the world’s best tennis players.

 

Federer’s win over the great Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001 was his preferred tennis match to watch back then.

 

Roger Federer must have glimpsed something of his younger self in Tsitsipas, from the flowing single-handed backhand, the willingness to charge the net as he sent him packing from the 2019 Australian open, just as he (Federer) did to Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001.

 

Tsitsipas said: “Roger is a legend of the sport, (I have) so much respect for him. He showed such good tennis over the years. I’ve been idolizing him since the age of six. It was a dream come true just being on Rod Laver facing him. Winning at the end, I cannot describe it.”

 

No Greek man had ever reached the world’s top 100 until Stefanos Tsitsipas cracked it in October 2017. Two years down the road, he defeated his childhood idol in their first meeting at the quarterfinal of the Australian open, also got ranked as the 12th tennis player in the world with the goal of being the world’s best tennis players still in sight.

 

In January 2019 at 20 years and 168 days, Tsitsipas became the youngest man to reach the last four of a Grand Slam since Novak Djokovic at the 2007 US Open.“At the start of this year, most of the top players probably knew very little about Stefanos. They do now.”

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