Roland Garros

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Paris, France

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Press Conference


6-1, 6-2, 3-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you start to gain more of an appreciation reaching the second week of a major given what you've been through in the last slams, even the first round?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yes, for sure. It's something that I cherish and appreciate. Being able to compete in a second week gives me a lot of confidence I think. It feels great. You feel like you're part of a prestige.

I've been putting a lot of hard work in in every single match trying to rise my level, play up to my expectations. I'm very glad that I am where I am today.

It's a moment that I can reflect on and move on to the second week with the knowledge of the first.

Q. We ask you questions so that we can write our stories. What do you get out of these post-match news conferences? Does it help you to process your matches? Does it help you to show snippets of your personality?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I have something interesting to say, I always want to say it. Myself, I was a journalist when I was 11, 12 years old. I had this Facebook page, which I very often updated with news about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic. The name of it was Tenniscore ITN. I was really into it. Every day after school I would check the results, check the current, latest tennis news. I would update it. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed doing it.

I really understand journalism and this world. I won't lie to you, sometimes it's difficult receiving the same answers, having the same things going on. I kind of find myself repeating the same answers, repetition, over and over again.

I do appreciate journalists that come out a little bit more, I would say, unexpected, ask me some other things that don't relate or don't have to do with my tennis match, or maybe have to do with my tennis match but in a way in a deeper sense, and kind of unlock something within me in which I can express myself a little bit more open, provide more information. That's what it is all about, information, getting the best out of the player, the most out of the player.

Journalism and press and media, I love this a lot. I do understand how it operates, how it works. So for me, you know, I'm a tennis player, and if something works, I'm on the court the next day trying to do the same, trying to do the same thing. For me sometimes there isn't really much for me to say tactical-wise or match-wise because I'm just trying to follow the things that have been working for me.

I know it can be quite challenging sometimes to come up with something new, new ideas, and new ways to say something. There you have it. It's a long story. For me personally, yeah, that was a very long answer, which is also at the same time very honest and very blunt.

Q. We're doing a little question here on RGTV every night, talking about French players, the pressure they have playing at Roland Garros. The debate tonight is whether they have less pressure considering the fact there are less fans. In your opinion, do you think it's better with or without? You know that playing them, some players like to play French players in Roland Garros because they know they're under pressure. What do you think about this?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: The closest I've ever gotten playing in front of my home crowd is playing Davis Cup last year in TATOI Club club. For me that was thrilling, honestly. Having the opportunity to have all the kids from the country, all the parents, all the lovers of the game there to watch me play gave me so much of a boost. I loved it.

So from my point of view it's the way you're going to take it. French players get the opportunity a few times a year to play in their country because of many ATP tournaments, Roland Garros, which is an amazing tournament. They should not see it as a curse. It should... What do I know (smiling)?

It's great playing tennis. Just enjoying. I'm sure the French crowd love their Frenchmen, Frenchwomen playing in front of them. They receive a lot of support. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. On the other side, it's more positive than ever.

Q. Have you ever played the perfect match? If so, when? Do you think it's possible to play the perfect match? And going back to what you were saying, as a young journalist, which of those players did you favor the most?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Great question, sir.

If I have ever played the perfect match? God. I haven't had matches where everything went exactly how I wanted it to go, but I had matches where I was serving very well, returning very well. Yeah, whatever was coming on my forehand side, I had full control of it. With the backhands as well, opening the court, playing down the line, switching down the line.

If I can recall one match, it would probably be - oh my God, I don't know. I played a really good match once in a challenger tournament. I remember I was playing really well in that match. My opponent ended up retiring in that match. But the match was going like normal. I was returning incredibly well, serving very, very well. That was in Rome. I think I was playing against Fucsovics.

Yeah, I was on an incredible game run in that match. That would be the perfect match, I would say.

Also another perfect match that I played was against Fabiano at the Wimbledon 2018. It was a very good match. Although I started with a break at the beginning, I ended up having a great strike after that. Not strike, but streak.

Q. When you were saying as a youngster you were on the Facebook page, all those players you named, who did you favor the most?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Oh, who did I favor the most? That is the most challenging part of journalism, isn't it? You always have a favorite.

But I was trying to keep it neutral because that's how it's supposed to be. You should never have a favorite when you are in such a media platform, also a serious page where people read the news.

I think you all know that Roger Federer was my favorite player growing up, but I didn't necessarily make him a god in my Facebook page. I covered the news the same, equal way as any other player. Of course, there would be a priority to the top guys that I would cover the most, the top guys, whatever their results or current status would be.

Everyone was treated the same (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
102183-1-1063 2020-10-03 15:51:00 GMT

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