Tsitsipas still dreaming of being No 1 one day: “I’m still far away but why not”

The Greek knows how hard it will be but has not lost his belief

Stefanos Tsitsipas Rome Inside / Panoramic

Stefanos Tstisipas has been one of the most consistent players for more than five years now, winning plenty of big titles but as yet, unable, quite, to fulfil one of his lifelong goals; to win a Grand Slam title and become world No 1.

The way the ranking system works, it’s entirely possible that one would lead to another and with doubts about the fitness of Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Rafael Nadal, he is set to go into Roland-Garros with as good a chance as any to win his first slam.

When he reached the final at Roland-Garros in 2021, it seemed it would only be a matter of time before he captured a slam. But though that’s yet to happen, despite another close thing at the 2023 Australian Open, he still has dreams of one day sitting on top of the pile.

“I’m still far away,” he said at the Italian Open on Monday, where he beat Cam Norrie to reach the last 16. “(But) yes, I would say so, why not? I’ve been thinking towards that direction already for a few years.

“I never saw a reason not to follow my dreams in that depth. It would be a blessing if I was able to conquer and make that happen. It’s been my dream since the first day of pursuing professional tennis.”

Tsitsipas: “I’m happy I got back in the top 10”

Earlier this year, Tsitsipas dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since 2019 but he has since regained his form, winning Monte-Carlo for the third time in four years. Now ranked eighth, he has looked strong again in Rome.

Climbing all the way to the top requires consistency in the biggest tournaments and Tsitsipas knows there’s a long way to go yet.

“I’m happy that I got back into the top 10, let’s start from there,” he said. “I was outside the top 10 for a while. It hurt me a little bit. So being back, it’s a great feeling.

“I want to add new goals now. I want to set new heights. I need a few more. I need a few more wins. I need a few more big, difficult matches where I will have to endure those and win those.

“It doesn’t come (just) like this. I haven’t pushed enough yet to deserve that spot. I know what it takes to get there. I’m still patient and I’m waiting for my moment.”

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