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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Pablo Cuevas in Hamburg to reach his fourth quarter-final of 2020.

'Tough Cookie?' Tsitsipas Proves You Learn Something New Every Day

Greek star enjoys a fun on-court interview after beating Cuevas

Stefanos Tsitsipas is living proof that you learn something new every day.

After the second seed won his second-round match at the Hamburg European Open on Thursday, the on-court reporter called the Greek’s opponent, Pablo Cuveas, a ‘tough cookie’.

“Tough cookie?” Tsitsipas wondered. “First time I heard this.”

It didn’t take long for the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion to realise what the phrase means, and he agreed.

“I understand, I understand,” Tsitsipas said, cracking a laugh. “Never heard it before.

The World No. 6 now leads their ATP Head2Head series 3-0 following his 7-5, 6-4 victory, but he needed to save all five break points he faced to do so. Tsitsipas converted both break points he earned.

"I have a lot of respect for him. He is a very difficult opponent to face, particularly on this surface," Tsitsipas said. "He is a good friend and one of my idols growing up. It was a great match and I enjoyed it. There was a certain point during the match when I forgot that I had to win. I was just enjoying the game, enjoying the crowd and playing with the most positive vibes, the most positive energy."

Learning the meaning of ‘tough cookie’ was not the only highlight of the 22-year-old’s on-court interview. He was challenged to speak a few words of German to the Hamburg crowd. Up to 2,300 socially distanced fans are allowed inside centre court.

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“I received a little bit of help from someone sitting in the crowd. My German is alright,” Tsitsipas said. “I’ll make a promise. If things go well here, I’ll come back next year speaking maybe not fluent, but good enough to give a speech.”

Tsitsipas will hope to continue winning at the ATP 500 when he plays 2019 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-finals. They have split their two ATP Head2Head meetings.

“He’s going to be a ‘tough cookie’,” Tsitsipas said. “He’s had great results on clay, so I’m expecting a good game and I hope to bring a good fight against him tomorrow.”

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