Men’s professional tennis has been under the stronghold of the Big 3 and their contemporaries for the past 15 years. As a result, other players have struggled to shine through, or even win titles!
Now, gradually, as they start to slow down, the younger generation is finally getting an opportunity to make their presence felt. Among this younger crop of players is Stefanos Tsitsipas, the current World No. 6.
“I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year”, says Stefanos Tsitsipas
Most tennis players were upset with the lockdown, citing lost practice time and no events to play in. World No. 2 and 2020 French Open champion Rafael Nadal even admitted to struggling both mentally and physically during the lockdown.
However, Stefanos Tsitsipas seems to have differing views. On an Instagram Live session during the extended downtime, he said, “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year. It’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet. I actually think it will be environmentally very beneficial. Life is such a hustle and you never get the time to spend with your family and connect with them. Now it’s an opportunity to do so.”
While “different” players like Tsitsipas wouldn’t necessarily have an advantage on the court, he brings with him a certain air of independence. That trait is necessary to be able to survive in the ATP Tour, which is something Tsitsipas will be looking to do. He has big ambitions and high hopes.
Tsitsipas is one of the top Next Gen stars
After making a remarkable title run in his debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2019, the Greek World No. 6 was optimistic of great fortunes ahead. His victories over players like Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem in the season-ender instilled a sense of confidence in him.
The 22-year-old also has the perfect height, weight, and characteristics to suit today’s game, also making him an instant crowd favorite.
Speaking after his title victory in London, Tsitsipas said, “I feel like my game is getting better over time. I believe I’m really close to being crowned a Grand Slam champion. I know these are strong words that I say, but I do feel like I belong there.”
However, the youngster was soon brought down the pedestal, after losing in straight sets to the experienced Milos Raonic at the 2020 Australian Open.
Later, in an interview with the Tennis Majors website, Tsitsipas admitted that he shouldn’t have thought so far ahead.
“Looking back to that, I think this was too big of a statement to be taken seriously,” he said. “I shouldn’t be looking so far so soon. For sure, I want it to come, but I should be talking about stuff like this less often and concentrate on the present. I guess I just put too much pressure on myself, aiming so high, and I just have to take it step-by-step,” he added.
Such maturity of learning about oneself during the journey is what will help Tsitsipas on the journey to greatness. Who knows, maybe his prediction of being crowned a Grand Slam champion might just come true soon after all!
Tsitsipas’ most recent tournament was the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters, where he crashed out in the second round after a splendid performance by Frenchman Ugo Humbert. He will next appear at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, looking to defend his title in London.