Stefanos Tsitsipas has shared the difference between his two Grand Slam final defeats to Novak Djokovic. The world No 3 lost to the Serb in the recent Australian Open final, almost two years after he blew a two-set lead in the championship match of the French Open and was left “crying” when Djokovic ended up beating him.
Tsitsipas started the year strongly by making it all the way to the Australian Open final where he came up against the nine-time champion in Melbourne Park, Djokovic. The Serb was able to win a historic 10th Aussie Open crown, handing the 24-year-old his second defeat in as many Major finals.
It came less than two years after the Greek star famously led Djokovic 7-6(6) 6-2 in the final of the 2021 French Open when he was just 22-years-old before blowing it to lose in five sets over four hours and 11 minutes. Tsitsipas has often referenced back to that match as a turning point and one of the toughest in his career, but it was a different story for the world No 3 Down Under as he has now revealed that he got over the loss in “minutes”.
“What was different for me personally was that I was actually able to move on from that loss immediately right during the ceremony, like a few minutes later,” the nine-time title winner said. Looking back on Roland Garros in 2021, he added: “I’ve dealt with it previously and it hurt a lot.
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“Especially when I was bringing myself back to the fact that I was so close to winning and being two sets to love up.” The 24-year-old also revealed that he was left in tears after losing his opportunity to lift his maiden Grand Slam trophy in 2021, and is yet to get his hands on one of the biggest titles in tennis.
“But reflecting on it later on, it hurt and I did cry. I was very upset,” Tsitsipas said. Explaining how the occasion overwhelmed him at the time, he continued: “It was an opportunity for me to do something that I had not done before. I started thinking of Stefanos as a kid, as an eight-year-old and watching the French Open and thinking how cool it would be even to play there.
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“I wasn’t even thinking about winning it. I was just thinking of playing there. And now I am faced with the opportunity to lift such a beautiful trophy. I was thinking a lot of my tennis club, where we started. We were such a small community. We are so close to each other. It almost felt like starting from the village and making my way up to this mega church or mega city of golden opportunities.”
But the Greek player has since learned to accept the defeat and managed to use it to his advantage when reflecting on his Aussie Open loss. “Now I don’t see any negativity behind it,” he confessed. “The journey is still beautiful and it’s grand. You have to keep building and you have to keep working to get there. I believe in fate and destiny. I just keep on doing my job and keep on building around it.”
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