“I want to apply that more into my game”: Tsitsipas seeking to emulate Alcaraz at Roland-Garros

A patchy Stefanos Tsitsipas has moved through to the second round of Roland-Garros, and revealed that he’s drawing inspiration from Carlos Alcaraz in his 2023 season

Stefanos Tsitsipas US Open 2023 (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Overall, it was a forgettable first-round performance from No 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who opened up his Roland-Garros 2023 campaign with a 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 win over Jiri Vesely.

Despite hitting 58 winners to 38 unforced errors, the Greek was patchy at best in his four-set win over the Czech Jiri Vesely. However, there were flashes of promise from the former world No 3. When faced with three set points and the prospect of a fifth set, Tsitsipas put his foot to the floor and discovered his killer instincts.

In a season where the 24-year-old has largely been missing his competitive edge across the European clay court swing, these are encouraging signs.

“The match was very inconsistent from my side” – Tsitsipas

Tsitsipas was the first to recognise that his performance was below par overall.

“The match was very inconsistent from my side. I felt like I haven’t played a match with so much inconsistency in a very long time.”

Unpacking his performance, the Greek believes that the lack of rallies may have contributed to his lack of rhythm.

“There weren’t a lot of rallies in play. He was serving big, so I had to find ways to change that. At times I felt like my footwork was lousy. I think it’s also due to the fact that, as I said, there were not many rallies played which didn’t allow my legs to be activated. Might be because of that.”

Fighting spirit on display for No 5 seed

However, he’s proud of the way he turned things around in the fourth set.

Down three set points at 3-6 in the fourth set tiebreaker, Tsitsipas managed to win three straight points and win 9-7 in the end.

“I’m happy with how things turned around, and my fighting spirit kind of went on full display in those last few points of the tiebreaker. It was a great way to end it by just being patient and waiting for that chance to pop up.”

When asked about his mindset in this moment, Tsitsipas responded: “I know it might sound unusual, but I said, Okay, let me try something new. Let me just try and go to the ball a little bit more, add a little bit more depth to my shot and a better way to kind of view the court, as well, by doing that, coming in.”

The 24-year-old credits this shift in strategy to a shift in psychology as well, saying, “Psychologically, that was like it created a spark.”

“I want to apply that more into my game”

Stefanos Tsitsipas, on Carlos Alcaraz

Looking ahead to the rest of Roland-Garros, Tsitsipas has admitted that he is currently drawing inspiration from one of the Tour’s newer arrivals, Carlos Alcaraz.

“The fact that just he’s so competitive and he’s always with a smile on his face, and almost so much charisma to him and so much positive energy that he distributes. I think that’s contributed a lot to his growth as a tennis player and his consistency too. He seems to be enjoying having fun.”

The Greek confessed that during his pre-season this year, he made a decision.

“I want to apply that more into my game. I kind of admire him for who he is.”

With the achievements of Alcaraz’s career already surpassing those of Tsitsipas within his first two years on Tour, perhaps this is not such a bad approach.

People in this post

Your comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *