Roland Garros

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Paris, France

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Press Conference


7-5, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seems you learned to love the clay. Did you expect that your second semifinal in a Grand Slam would be in Roland Garros?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Expect? You cannot expect anything. I wasn't expecting playing semifinals of the Australian Open to start first. It's a dream, of course. But 'expect'? I'm expecting since a young age to potentially triumph at these Grand Slams. I'm happy that I'm able to be in a position where I am today. Yeah, it's very, very satisfying.

I think I can learn from the previous one. I'm chasing something spectacular.

Q. With Roland Garros 2020 being a springboard for the NextGen players, would you believe that the next winner of a Grand Slam could be one of you guys?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: First of all, I would like to tell you that I'm not a NextGen player any more. I'm a proper adult (smiling).

Second of all, for sure it's going to come at some point. I mean, let's face it. Yeah, the big three have been there for a long time. I don't feel like it's going to be the same in five, six years' time, I believe.

Third of all, I'm happy to be playing well enough, also be part of something so special. I don't know, NextGen is not NextGen any more. We are all young. I guess you can call it that way.

Dominic inspires me a lot. What Dominic has achieved is amazing. Being able to have back-to-back finals here at the French is truly inspiring. Dominic is someone that makes me understand the game and makes me want to push even further to reach what he has reached.

He's a nice guy off the court. Big workaholic on the court. He has a very balanced and very -- he's a very passionate person in every aspect. We're good friends. I think I can learn a lot from him and add it to my game.

From the young guys, he's someone that I really look up to.

Q. Can you tell us a little more about the days of you skipping school back in Greece, watching Roland Garros on your television? Any classic matches that spring to mind?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think I was the only one to skip school to watch tennis. Back then, no one played tennis back then. I'm sure now it's more often that kids get to skip school for the French, given the fact there are so many kids playing tennis in Greece now, it is great to see.

Some classics? I remember watching Santoro. What was that match, six hours' long? Santoro against Clement, I think. Yeah, my physio Jerome was part of it, which is great how we united. You know how small this world is.

Another match that I watched, I watched some epic thrillers, five-set matches. I don't really remember which ones. Maybe Llodra, Nicolas Mahut, players like this. Especially the matches that were outside Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen, there were some epic fights on these courts.

Of course, my favorite is Nadal and Federer. Always there watching them play. It was just before summer starts, kicks in. That was the last, like, before our school ends, so it was a great time.

Q. I saw your mom in the stands. I hadn't seen her in this tournament before. Your family traveling has been such a big part of your career, having your parents and siblings with you. How did your mom come here? Did she arrive recently? How tough has it been not being able to have the full family unit together with you?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: How difficult, you said?

Q. Yes. Is it easier or more difficult?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I learned to tour that way. It's been a long time already. My mom has been here since the beginning of the event. You probably paid attention to that today, but she has been around for quite a while.

My family? My family? My mom, she knows a lot about tennis. Sometimes it can be a bit complicated when she wants to give her own opinion or advice direct to me, then have my dad tell me something else. We've sat down and we said, Guys, that's my coach. Whatever opinions or whatever thoughts you have, has to be filtered through Apostolos, my father. It can get quite hectic.

Obviously the presence of Patrick, we are a strong, united team. My mom is also a small part of it (smiling). She brings a lot to the team, a lot of energy, a lot of good vibes. She is lovely. She is lovely.

Q. We don't know your next opponent. First of all, can you talk about Novak Djokovic, if it is him. Looks like he might be carrying a neck injury. Would that affect any potential semifinal against Novak?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: An opponent is an opponent. Doesn't matter if he is injured or not. Novak or Carreno, we don't know who it's going to be.

No, an injury is not going to play anything. I have to play the way I have to play. We might as well just forget about it because I'm approaching that match with the same intensity and the same focus that I've been doing the last few matches.

Q. Since you come from a small country with not too much tennis tradition, do you understand that also Italy, which for 40 years didn't have one player in the semifinals, is very excited about Sinner, who is a NextGen, not like you any more. Did you see anything of his match versus Nadal? What do you think about him? You lost to him in Rome. Sorry if I remind you. Tell me something I could write about.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: To answer your first question, no, I wasn't watching the match. I was probably in my second dream already by that time (laughter).

I think I saw something the morning that I woke up, serving for the first set, I'm not sure. He plays really good tennis, Jannik. He's a future star of the game. I have no doubt about it.

Of course, he's new to the game. He has been doing very, very well for his age. His success, all of his career wins so far have been very steady and very efficient with his game.

I can tell you that. Yeah, we can see a lot from him in the future, we can expect a lot from him in the future. I'm sure Italy with Jannik is in good hands.

Q. Talking about today's match, what do you think you were able to do that helped you turn things around when he was serving for the first set, then you began to play a lot better tennis, took charge of the match?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, that's a question that I don't know myself. I was just probably returning better. I don't remember exactly what happened that given moment in the match. For sure I had less unforced errors. I applied more offensive game to that game.

He missed a few forehands, from what I remember. He missed a few shots that he didn't before. I think tactics changed after. I started to feel my game a bit better. I started feeling my movement on the court also better, slightly became more comfortable moving around the court hitting at the same time. With the comfort I was feeling on the court, I give credit to that a lot.

Also trying to take each point individually, and clear my mind before every point, think of my tactics, the potential scenarios I'm going to have to face in the next few games or points.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
102405-1-1063 2020-10-07 18:03:00 GMT

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