Roland Garros

Friday, 9 October 2020

Paris, France

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Press Conference

N. DJOKOVIC/S. Tsitsipas

6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I know you've just come from the court, very disappointing defeat, but you took it five sets. Can you give us an overview of how you're feeling right now.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, I feel, I can say, happy and at the same time sad. Could have been a better result for me today. Novak showed once again what an incredible athlete and his ability on the courts.

Was difficult, for sure, playing him. I think one of the most difficult opponents I've faced in my entire life. I have huge respect for that.

He gave me a really difficult time on the court. Unfortunately towards the end of the match an injury that I had during my match in Rome came back. It was difficult to close the match in a fighting way, in a fighting spirit.

But I tried my best despite all of this. I'm happy that I came back from two sets to love down and tried to stay in the match as long as possible.

Q. How do you feel about the etiquette of being called already the best player on tour to defend breakpoints? Is this some kind of a special quality? How do you feel about that?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: What does that mean? I don't understand. Can you repeat it, please.

Q. You're seen as a player who is the best in defending breakpoints. Look at how many points you managed to defend tonight against Novak. I'm interested in your opinion of this etiquette.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Am I? Is it a stat or something?

Q. No, no, no.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, you know, yeah, he puts a lot of pressure on the return. It's not easy. I think there are a lot of things that I have to work on.

For sure he has reached almost perfection, Novak, in his game style, the way he plays, which is unbelievable to see honestly. That inspires me a lot to go out and work and try to reach that perfectionism, that ability to have everything on the court.

His serve was good today. I wasn't creating much damage on the return. I could have done much more. Was very passive on my returns. And my service games, I seemed to struggle throughout the entire match. I didn't have many games where love or easy games that I managed to win. That shows a lot of good qualities from Novak, of course, his fighting abilities on the court.

Q. You know your tennis history, so you know for Novak it's taken him quite a bit of time to get where he is. Can you take some positives out of a really difficult loss, just the fact that you played so well, took a big step, are learning to play against these great players?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yes, there are many things that I can take. Again, I had an amazing comeback. I wish I could have figured certain things earlier which, I don't know, I felt like it was a total demolition, the fact that I tried those things in practice and tried to implement them in the match. It was something new. I wish I wouldn't have tried these things and tried to stay to my ordinary and basic way of feeling the ball and also trying to dictate the game.

I think that was a huge mistake today, that I tried this for two sets in a row, then came back to my old way of doing things. Yeah, as you saw, it was a good comeback, and I think I played great tennis after that, except the fifth set, which I believe my body was not ready. Physically I wasn't really there present.

Q. You are a very passionate player. Everyone saw that out on the court today. Why does winning or losing mean so much to you?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It's a very good question actually. I was thinking about it the other day.

Well, let's take it this way. If I wouldn't win, if I wouldn't be winning, I wouldn't be part of what I am now. I wouldn't be part of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy. I wouldn't be, let's call it, a celebrity in my country. No one would knew me. It's all because of winning, of succeeding, managing to find ways to win matches.

I wouldn't make money from tennis. I don't know what I would be doing, but tennis wouldn't be part of my life. Winning has provided a lot. Of course, good ways and bad ways. There are some deficits.

Yeah, without winning I wouldn't have my sponsors. Without winning I wouldn't be traveling all around the world. Losing kind of keeps you in the same place, in the same spot, which is why I hate losing. Of course, I think everyone hates losing. It's weird if you don't hate losing.

But I guess a loss is a very good lesson where life puts a stop at what you're doing. You can reflect on that. You can grow. You can get better. You can take that loss and turn it around, use it as a life lesson to move forward, to become a stronger person.

Q. I remember your press conference after the Australian Open semifinal last year. You seemed kind of shell-shocked by how things had gone. I wonder what do you think are the biggest improvements you've made from then to now?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, I think back at the Australian Open I was still a kid, and now I'm turning more into an adult. My thinking has changed. I've matured. I've been through a lot of things. I have growed from the people around me, my relationships, people in general. They have contributed a lot to that.

I have, of course, more experience in my pocket than before. I've played matches. I've experienced different things. I know when something is good or not, and I can, I think, dictate that earlier. So a lot of experience, a lot of physical improvement I think.

Also the ability to read the game a bit better. Also, for sure, 100%, be more relaxed on the court. I saw myself in videos two, three years ago, and I've matured a lot in a way that I'm more calm and more observant on the court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
102507-1-1145 2020-10-09 20:54:00 GMT

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