First-Time Winner: Tsitsipas Reveals What He Changed In Stockholm
Twenty-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas completed a lifelong dream on Sunday, beating Ernests Gulbis of Latvia to win the Intrum Stockholm Open and celebrate his maiden ATP World Tour title. Greece's #NextGenATP star spoke to ATPWorldTour.com about the accomplishment:
How does it feel to be holding your first ATP World Tour trophy?
It feels amazing. I've been dreaming of this moment for a very long time. I think it's part of also the hard work that I've been putting in my game all these years, the dedication for the game... I'm super grateful for this opportunity and very excited for what the future has to offer.
Watch Highlights: Tsitsipas Wins Maiden Title In Stockholm
How does it feel to be the first Greek to win an ATP World Tour title?
Of course I feel happy because I'm the first Greek [to win a title]. Hopefully many Greek players can achieve something like this. I would be super happy to see them achieve something like this in the future, maybe even in the near future... Representing my country at such high-level tournaments, being the first Greek to crack the Top 100 is very, very special for me.
Was this a goal you had as a junior growing up and did you think it would happen so quickly?
Well, to be honest with you, not really. I thought it was going to take a few years to make it the way I dreamed of it. But at the end, it doesn't really matter. Sooner is better, if you manage to make it at 18, 19, 20, as I said, sooner is better.
I'm grateful that I can play good tennis at such a young age and have all these people around me, like my father and my team at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, to help me reach my goals... This tournament, I basically had nothing to lose, I played my game. I actually look up to the players I face most of the time because I've seen them play on TV, like Gulbis, Federer, Djokovic, so for me being a part of it is very, very special.
Did you go into your third final with a different approach after losing to Rafael Nadal in Barcelona and Toronto?
Yes, I did. I was actually much more confident this time. I knew that if I executed my game plan and stayed focused and calm and not get angry with myself over anything, I was pretty sure I was going to make it and as I said, I felt great on the court from the beginning until today, to the final.
So I was very confident that I was going to make something really good in the final. I knew most of the things that happened today were in my hands. [I had] much more confidence and much more experience than last time.
How much confidence did you have after beating four Top 10 opponents in Toronto?
For sure it gave me some confidence, knowing that I can play that well against top players. It's very important to have these victories behind your back. It helps you to understand how much your game has developed since last time. These victories are always going to remain special.
You are the youngest player in the Top 20 [No. 16]. Could you ever imagine at age 20 you would be ranked this high?
Not really, but as I said before hard work and talent and dedication equals good results and achieving great things.
Now that you have won your first ATP title. What are your next goals in the foreseeable future, the next six months?
My brain is actually at zero right now. Ha, ha. I was so focused on my goals this year that I actually didn't set any goals for next year.
I'm going to have to sit down and think, what do I want to achieve in 2019? Because 2019 is going to be a crucial year for me, and obviously I want to achieve much more. But right now I'm just enjoying the moment, enjoying this great year that I had and hopefully I can do even better in Basel and Paris.
Watch Hot Shot: Tsitsipas Scrambles, Rips Backhand Passing Shot
You have qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. You will be the top seed. Talk about playing in that event for the first time.
Milan is a great event... and it gives the opportunity to young guys like me, to compete against each other, which is great. We can face each other in a single tournament. This competition is very, very good for our confidence because we are the future of the game. We can face each other from a very young age, and that's very good. We can develop together and experience things together.
Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge who has helped you get to where you are in your career?
For sure, my dad. Also a big part of my development and my improvement has been at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, with my coach and my fitness coach [at the academy].
My team also in Greece, which I don't see that often, but they have helped me also in the past and still keep on helping me. All those people I believe, all this support from them made me who I am today.
We know you enjoy basketball. What are your hobbies and things you enjoy outside of tennis?
I enjoy playing basketball. I enjoy playing ping pong. I enjoy playing video games but I actually don't have so much time to play video games recently.
I enjoy very much editing videos, which I create. I enjoy YouTube because it's a great platform where you can watch videos of creators and people that create different things on the Internet, which is fabulous.
I enjoy many sports, actually. I enjoy swimming when I am back in Greece. Swimming and also bowling with my friends. That's how I spend most of my time when I am home.