“Any player from the top 10 can win a Grand Slam tournament” Stefanos Tsitsipas looks back at his chances at the 2021 French Open and justifies his need for the controversial toilet breaks

World No. 3 and the finalist at the 2021 French Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas looks back at 2021 season and opens up on what it needs to be a Grand Slam champion.

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas

World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas has been one of the most consistent players this season having won 55 matches out of the 73 matches he played this season having two titles to his name from the 5 finals he played including the 2021 French Open, his first-ever Grand Slam final.

At the Masters events this year, he won the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters while reaching the quarter-finals of 5 other ATP-1000 events with only the Madrid Masters (3rd round) and the Paris Masters (2nd round) tarnishing his record at the events this season. The Greek has already qualified for the Year-End Championships in Turin this month and will look to win his 2nd ATP Finals trophy having won earlier in 2019.

Stefanos recently gave an in-depth interview, reflecting back at his season overall and also spoke about the much-debated and controversial toilet breaks that have seen his rapport with fellow Tour players getting poorer. When asked if the toilet breaks are part of his tactics, he quickly denied it and gave his justification for why he takes them.

“No! My intention is not to disturb anyone’s rhythm, it is not a tactical tool. Anyway, I only look at myself and not at the opponent. Even after winning a 6-0 set, I went to the bathroom and changed my things. It always has to do with external conditions. I didn’t do it once at the Indian Wells tournament because the conditions were very dry.

“I didn’t sweat as much as I did in Cincinnati and at the US Open before. Circumstances were different and I responded accordingly. One shouldn’t dictate how much time to spend in the bathroom. With dry clothes, I just feel more comfortable and fresher. All that sweat bothers me. Each player can decide for himself. I am there to do my job. I don’t care about anything else,” said Stefanos.

“I want to make the best of my life and give it my all” says Stefanos Tsitsipas on his motto in life

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas

Having come very close to a maiden Grand Slam title at the 2021 French Open, Stefanos blew a 2-0 set lead against eventual champion, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic who staged a comeback for the ages to win the Slam in 5-sets. It was a heartbreaking loss for the 22-year old who took it sportingly and cemented his place as one of the stars to look out for in the future.

“The level is incredibly high. Any player from the top 10 can win a Grand Slam tournament. Tennis has evolved, it has become very physical. It’s extreme in many ways. You have to pay attention to every detail. Dominic Thiem is a good example. He put so much physical and mental energy into winning the US Open. I watched every game he played there.

“It is very exhausting to beat the other good players. It sucks the energy out of your body. The key is: You have to win the games with less effort and save energy for the next match. Novak Djokovic has shown this perfectly in recent years. And Daniil Medvedev showed it at the US Open,” said Stefanos looking back at the finals at the Roland Garros.

With the hardcourt season not being as successful for him as they were in the first half of the season, the results have not broken his spirit and he remains hopeful for a turnaround soon. Speaking on what his motto in life is, Stefanos said, “Don’t wait for an opportunity, create it! The best things in life happen when you are awake. That’s what I focus on. I want to make the best of my life and give it my all. At the end of the day, I don’t want to have excuses or blame myself.”

Stefanos will next be seen in action at the 2021 ATP Finals which will begin from 14th November.

Also Read: Djokovic is going to be the best in titles, because when Nadal and Federer competed they hurt each other: Billie Jean King