Forced into quarantine in Melbourne like his colleagues ahead of the Australian Open on February 8, Stefanos Tsitsipas has just finished an audio file with words and music. For peers it is so banal as to seem like a melody of those that accompany us on the lift of skyscrapers but in the meantime it has detached itself from the routine of other tennis players, between war paths in their hotel room where to roll a ball, gymnastic exercises more or less improbable, dances and marathons on Netflix.
The latest production is part of a series, each lasting about 45 minutes, with emblematic titles. The first episode is “Our Best with a Friend”: discussions of sports, food, culture, books and travel with Victor, with whom Stefanos has many things in common.
The second episode is “Be ready for changes”: the season on grass, the difficulties of traveling every week and organizing doubles well in advance. Then it continues with “My brother was scammed”: brother Petros tells of his epic trip to Tunisia, Stefanos reveals the bullying that you can be a victim of at school for the privileges related to tennis and the importance of having a coach at full time he can trust and the knowledge that helps take tennis to the next level.
Tennis players regard Rafael Nadal as the toughest competitor to beat on the tour. So what does an opponent really need to do, to beat the Spanish World No. 2? Here’s what his 7-time opponent and Greece’s best player Stefanos Tsitsipas had to say.
Tsitsipas on Rafael Nadal
“Rafael Nadal is someone who just doesn’t accept to give up, never. He never fails to deliver,” Stefanos Tsitsipas said. “Even on his worse days, he always has, with his fighting spirit, his ways to go around it.
And that’s what makes him one of the toughest players to beat”. Apart from his ever-growing energy and focus, the record 13-time French Open champion also has a left-hand advantage. And according to the 22-year-old, the hand makes it all the more difficult to defeat him.
“I think he takes very good advantage of his left hand… uses that to the max,” Tsitsipas explained. “He’s been a very difficult player from the baseline, and someone that you really have to be 100% concentrated in every single point to beat”.
In such a case, one must play his most extraordinary game to win vs the World No. 2. However, if one levels with the commitment of Rafael Nadal, one can surely gain an edge over the match. “You have to bring the best out of his serve, out of your groundstrokes,” Stefanos said. “Generally, you have to be very concentrated and careful when you play against him”.