Tsitsipas : “We won’t have the same freedom in other matches”
Stefanos Tsitsipas is qualified for the UTS Final 4 this Sunday. The Greek God, currently at the top spot in the UTS standings, is the front-runner of the tournament, in strong form as he prepares to head for the US for the resumption of the US Tour.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the master of suspense at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown. The Greek God has won four matches in sudden death at UTS. Three of them after losing the first two quarters, two this last weekend against Matteo Berrettini and Corentin Moutet. Just before joining the US Tour, he is glad to be « one of the most important representatives of this event ».
Stefanos, why are you so good at sudden death?
When I was young, I played a lot of videos games based on sudden death. So I’ve been practicing since my very young age. I’m a bit familiar with it.
Help us to understand what is your feeling during sudden death. Is it close to what you can feel during a match point in a regular match?
I’m quite relaxed in sudden death. I think of ways that will potentially earn me the point, of things I’ve been working on in my previous points. Because all you have to do in sudden death is to serve well, once, and return well, just once too. I’ve been dominant on this. I’ve been doing this very constructively and very correctly. That’s why I won. I took my responsibilities, and I showed the right attitude.
How could you rate your will to win at UTS, which is very unusual?
Of course, nobody wants to lose, but in the same time, defeat is not a big deal. We can practice different things on the court, and we won’t have the same freedom in other matches, which are more important. Having the opportunity to test new things, here at the UTS, having the opportunity to play against these players: that’s what I value the most. This is the most important thing right now. I’m enjoying the format. I don’t really care if I win or lose. I’ve been winning a lot but it’s not my priority. I’m trying to impose my game. I think this format can attract a lot of people, and it can modernise our sport even more.
« I’m glad to be the face of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy »
You are the first guy qualified for the Final 4. You won several titles in your career, what would it mean to win the first edition of UTS?
Great! I’m really looking for the win. Here, in UTS, we have a lot of energy, a lot of vibrancy, and that’s what makes the event so special. It’s a celebration for all of us. We celebrate tennis, celebrate sport, and the values of this sport. I’m glad to be part of it. I’m glad to be the face of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, which allows me to be one of the most important representatives of this event.
« I will join US Tour. If the organisation of the US Open is going to give the green light to us, to go and play, I’m not afraid. »
Next step is your match against David Goffin. What do you feel about this opponent, even if you are already qualified for the semi-finals ?
He is a very difficult opponent. I had some good battles against him. There were some close matches. He gets every ball back, he is very consistent with his shots. Goffin doesn’t have the most powerful game, but he is very precise. He is always going to get one extra ball back. You always have to be patient with him, and follow your game strategically.
How do you see what will happen for you after UTS? Do you plan to play the US Open and US Tour?
Yes of course, I have a plan. I will join the US Tour.
The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t worry you?
If the organisation of the tournament is going to give the green light to us, to go and play, I’m not afraid.
And what about the fact that Roland-Garros happens immediately after the US Open?
It can happen. We lost a lot of time with the lockdown. It’s been a big gap, which we need to recover, and that’s the only way to do it. I have to be prepared for a difficult schedule, a difficult few weeks on the tour, and to get the job done!
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