Tsitsipas: 'This Is Not Where I've Maxed Out'
Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted he was disappointed with his performance against Holger Rune at Roland Garros on Monday, but the World No. 4 believes he will learn important lessons from his fourth-round defeat at the clay-court major.
“[It was] a great match from his side, but I have to say it was a very bad management from far back from the court from my side,” said Tsitsipas in his post-match press conference. “I don't know, it was as if I was missing too many returns, giving away too many free points without really giving a chance to myself to compete a little bit."
#NextGenATP Dane Rune upset the fourth seed with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win on Court Philippe Chatrier. Tsitsipas was full of praise for his opponent’s performance, but has already identified the match as a turning point in his bid for further success on the ATP Tour.
“I was a completely different player once I stepped into the court, taking returns early,” said Tsitsipas. “I really feel it's one of those matches where every match would be a lot different after this point.”
Tsitsipas enjoyed a successful clay-court season overall, successfully defending his title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and reaching the final at another ATP Masters 1000 event, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. Given his strong form, the Greek admitted he felt he was capable of going deeper in Paris.“I knew I [was] going to have to play difficult opponents that know how to play on this surface, but mentally, physically, tennis-wise, I felt good,” he said. “This is not where I've maxed out, let's say. I didn't give myself the opportunity to max out. It's not that he didn't give it to me, I didn't give myself the opportunity to go all the way and that is a shame.”
The Greek was impressed by 19-year-old Rune, who was making his maiden appearance in a Grand Slam fourth round on his Roland Garros debut. Tsitsipas admitted that there was an element of surprise to the Dane’s approach on court.
“He's young, he plays with a lot of emotion," said Tsitsipas. "[A] one-of-a-kind of an opponent, I would say. It's kind of strange, I don't get to face that very often from someone. But then suddenly [he] seems to be playing amazing, which is a good thing, of course.
“He is a very emotional player, he can play great, he absolutely deserves this victory. [He] played better, faced crucial tough moments better. But I can see something different next time with this opponent. I'm pretty convinced I can do way better.”
Tsitsipas recognises the emergence of young talent such as Rune and Carlos Alcaraz may make his push for success on the ATP Tour more difficult, but the eight-time tour-level titlist sees it only as extra motivation.
“[It] has to come at some point, it comes for everyone, right? I'm not worried. I know my tennis, I know my game,” said the Greek.
“These kids are going to want to beat me badly because obviously they are chasing. I'm chasing too, but I'm at a different kind of position than they are. I'm hungry to beat them too. Now that they have beaten me, I want payback.”