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Stefanos Tsitsipas in action in Halle earlier this month.

Tsitsipas On Grass Record: 'I Never Doubted Myself'

Greeks plays Swiss qualifier Ritschard in the first round

Stefanos TsitsipasWimbledon preparations have been a success.

The Greek overcame Roberto Bautista Agut to capture his maiden tour-level title on grass at the Mallorca Championships on Saturday, meaning he arrives at The All England Lawn Tennis Club high on confidence and with matches in the bank.

“I think my preparations are good in terms of matches. That's what I wanted from the very beginning, to have a lot of matches on grass,” Tsitsipas said in his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. “That's what I think I achieved in the last couple of weeks, to get as many matches on grass as possible.

“I think the first tournaments were probably not what I expected in terms of matches, but I managed to pick up quite fast in last week's performance in southern Europe.”

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Prior to his triumph in Mallorca, Tsitsipas had held a 10-10 record on grass. However, the fourth seed revealed that his title run at the ATP 250 event came as no surprise to him due to his long-term belief that he was destined for success on the surface.

“People kind of doubted that I can play on grass, I think it's fair to say. I never doubted myself. I said - I insisted, in fact, that I can play on this surface, and it remains one of my favorite surfaces that tennis has to offer,” Tsitsipas said. “I was pretty confident about it.

“I guess I proved myself last week that it's not a surface that I don't like. I like playing on grass, probably more than on clay.”

Fuelled by confidence, Tsitsipas will be hoping to translate his strong form onto the lawns at Wimbledon, where he holds a 3-4 record. The 23-year-old advanced to the fourth round in 2018, but has failed to advance beyond the first round in his past two appearances.

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Last season he arrived having not played a match on grass prior to Wimbledon, where he lost to American Frances Tiafoe in the first round. One year on and Tsitsipas is keen to put that defeat behind him.

“Last year was difficult for me. I didn't play a single match before Wimbledon on grass,” Tsitsipas said. “I was trying to play on grass like I [play] on clay, which was a huge mistake. Technique-wise, tactic-wise, it all fell apart.

“Looking back to last year, I [have] watched a few videos, highlights. You want to analyse as much as possible. To see your weak points. None of it made sense. I could also tell that from the practise sessions that I had and the friendly matches that I did before, everything seemed to be a bit off. With minor adjustments, you can always get back to where you want it to be.

“For me, it's a new start here at Wimbledon. I see myself a little bit different in terms of how I perceive this surface in particular.”

However, despite his optimism, the fourth seed refused to put himself in the Wimbledon title conversation, revealing that he is taking it one step at a time.

“Matteo [Berrettini] has done really well last year, so he definitely sees himself as a big contender for this,” Tsitsipas said when comparing himself to last year’s finalist Berrettini. “I'll probably have to get close to what he did last year, then see if I can be a potential future Wimbledon champion. I really want to. But I [have] got to start small first.

“The last two appearances I had at Wimbledon were not great. I just want to see something different. Let's just start from that. Maybe week two we can reevaluate things and recalibrate the focus.”

Tsitsipas will begin his Wimbledon campaign against Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard on Tuesday, with eighth seed Berrettini and two-time champion Rafael Nadal in his half.

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