Australian Open

Friday, 27 January 2023

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Press Conference

S. TSITSIPAS/K. Khachanov

7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Since we will not have a pre-final presser tomorrow, I'm going to congratulate Stefanos for reaching his second career Grand Slam final, two matches away from his dreams, a Grand Slam title and No. 1 spot in the rankings.

Your thoughts about the two possible opponents in the final, Novak, who you know very well, and Tommy Paul, who would be a surprise?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think we've got two great opponents on the other side of the draw, to which I find myself in the position, couldn't be more ready for this moment to be faced against a player perhaps that has won here a lot of times, and another one who is less experienced and has played less years on the tour, but still has a lot of hunger inside himself.

We will find out the outcome in couple of hours. For now all I have to say is this is a very humbling opportunity for me. Being in the finals here means a lot. Having started here as one of my first junior Grand Slams, and being now in the finals of the men's event, is as important as my very first steps that I took on the tennis court.

I'm going to grasp this opportunity and get myself ready for this big day.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You talked about 2006, Marcos, was that genuinely your first memory?


Q. 2006 with Marcos.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: One of the first moments that I had watching the Australian Open, and another moment that I had watching it on TV, gathering with friends and watching the final early morning on TV was Fernando Gonzalez, who also happens to be one of my favorite players.

I just liked his explosivity, the way he was able to hit the ball. I remember who he played? Maybe Roger.


STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: So this is something that is in my mind, living it as a young kid, before I even started playing, like, top junior tennis.

Q. When did you first come to Melbourne?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: My first trip to Melbourne was in 2015. Yeah, so I played the first junior event here.

Q. Melbourne has a massive Greek population. Can you talk about the home support almost you've got in this part of the world. If it is Novak, Greece versus Serbia, it's going to be one hell of an atmosphere on Sunday?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Absolutely, yes. Both Greece and Serbia have put the map with tennis as a big contender in big events. Serbia is also a very small country, just like Greece. They have produced a lot of good players. Someone that has led the country when it came to tennis. Not a very big country. I hope we in Greece can achieve the same thing they have in recent years, win multiple Grand Slams.

I speak in sort of the second person because I want to do this together with Maria because I feel like we can achieve together a lot of things, a lot of great things. Of course, right now I'm focusing on myself, but it's always important to me that two individuals can give structure and hope for a country.

Q. Stefanos, Novak the other day didn't remember about the final you play in Roland Garros. Do you see that as a genuine lapse, or maybe he's trying to get into your mind?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I don't remember either.

Q. Finals.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: No, don't remember.

Q. Stefanos, you're allowed to coach from the stands these days. You've been playing very well. Would you say that's been helping you this year?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, the coaching has always been there. Some coaches might have not been using it as much.

In my case, it has always been part of how I do things when I'm on the court. I'm glad it's not penalized now. That's how it should be. I see no reason to have a coach with you if they can't share some of their view and knowledge with you when you're competing.

I feel like it's something very natural in our sport. For sure it should be used.

Q. You say you don't remember that last final. You also said you feel more ready for this final than you've ever been. Can you explain how you feel more ready for this one perhaps than you felt for that one, or why you feel the most ready for a stage like that?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I'm playing great tennis. I'm enjoying myself. I just see no downside or negativity in what I'm trying to do out there. Even if it doesn't work, I'm very optimistic and positive about any outcome, any opponent that I have to face.

This is something that has been sort of lacking in my game. I genuinely believe in what I'm able to produce. That is more than enough. I go about this way. I do this with a lot of -- I strive for it every single day. It might not go the way I want it to, but I put 110% out there.

Q. You've been noticeably very calm in pressure moments, even United Cup. Are you able to explain how much work you and your team put into that, particularly after how Wimbledon ended for you last year?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think it starts with confidence, what your capabilities, what you can do out there. I think frustration also builds when you start sort of panicking or you feel completely off and completely not okay with your game. It has this tendency to build up over time, especially when you're unable to find some sort of solutions within yourself.

I definitely believe this is something that hasn't been reoccurring. I have a good relationship with myself on the court. I think this is something that has given me that sort of attitude. Of course, less frustration than before.

I don't feel like it has produced anything beneficial for me. It's also experience at the same time.

Q. You seemed pretty frustrated with those foot-fault calls. What was happening?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Apparently I found out it was just a really close foot-fault from the side of the separation line between deuce and ad. That was a foot-fault from that perspective, which we don't get very often in tennis. It's normally when you step on the line.

Yeah, hasn't happened to me much before. Tactically I wanted to use that. I don't know, I feel like it was a very small foot fault that the line could read.

Yeah, I was a little bit frustrated 'cause in my eyes I didn't feel like I was doing anything. I changed it, and that was the last time.

Q. You can win your first Grand Slam title Sunday. You can move up to No. 1 in the rankings. As a kid, did you think about one or the other? Do you remember at what age?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I remember watching it on TV saying to myself, I want to be there one day myself. I want to recreate that feeling for me.

I knew that's a very long journey to get there. There are certain steps you have to take to give yourself the chance to be competing for something like this.

But I very much believed it. I very much believed it. First of all, it's your ego that speaks. You either have it or not, you know? As a kid, I was very confident. Thank God I was good in my country. Starting from that, I knew if I'm able to get out of my country and compete in other countries, European leagues, European tours, I proved myself over and over again that I'm actually good. I did finish as a junior No. 1. Now I want to do it in the men's side, in the men's professional tennis, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
128804-1-1145 2023-01-27 08:18:00 GMT

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