Stefanos Tsitsipas credits Roger Federer and Pete Sampras for inspiring his one-handed backhand showering praise on the duo

Stefanos Tsitsipas talks about his single-handed backhand.


Stefanos Tsitsipas credits Roger Federer and Pete Sampras for inspiring his one-handed backhand showering praise on the duo

Roger Federe (L), Stefanos Tsitsipas (Centre) and Pete Sampras (R) ( Credits: Britannica, UsOpen.org and Facts.net)

Stefanos Tsitsipas reveals that he switched to using a single-handed backhand at the early age of eight as he sought tennis legends Roger Federer and Pete Sampras as his inspiration. 

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The iconic Swiss player was well known for his single-handed backhand, a technique not used by many players. Most tennis players prefer using a two-handed backhand. Even the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who are known as “complete players,” use both hands on their backhand shots.

At a press conference for the US Open, Tsitsipas spoke about emulating Federer’s single-handed backhand. He even mentioned one of the greatest players, Pete Sampras, as his hero growing up.

Sampras was also one of the few players who used a single-handed backhand. He said that he feels a responsibility to not let this shot die. He even expressed the desire to be the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s successor. 

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He said, “I’m here to kind of not have it die. I won’t say successor, but the reason I do play a single-handed backhand is because of Roger. I kind of, in a way, want to be his successor, as big as this may sound. Also, Pete Sampras was my hero growing up. I don’t want to copy them, but I just want to acknowledge their greatness through that shot.” 

Speaking further, he reflected on his journey and stated that at one of the practices on Tuesday, he just decided that he would play a single-handed backhand. He even recalls being made fun of for it by his second coach, but he was committed to that style. He feels that it has become a signature shot of his and is what defines him as a player.

He was quoted as saying, “I remember my second coach at the time; I remember that moment very well; he kind of made fun of me. He said, Stef, are you ever going to decide what you follow? Kind of joked that day. I took it seriously, so I said, Single-handed backhand it is. I’m just committing to that. I’m going all the way, not looking back. It has stuck since then. It’s my signature shot today. It kind of defines me.”

Also Read: WATCH: Stefanos Tsitsipas leaves Paula Badosa blushing with a special message following his round one win at the US Open 2023

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Tsitsipas advances to the second round of the U.S. Open.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (Credits: Reuters)

Seventh seed Tsitsipas has made his way to the second round of the 2023 U.S. Open. The Greek tennis star defeated Canadian player Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. The 25-year-old survived the chances of an upset by only making 20 unforced errors to Raonic’s 48.

He is already off to a good start, as he lost in the first round of the previous year’s tournament. His best performance at the U.S. Open has been reaching the third round. His win-loss record this year has been 14-3 in the majors. He will be facing Swiss player Dominic Stricker in the second round.

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