Roland Garros

Friday, 11 June 2021

Paris, France

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Press Conference


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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When you've lost that fourth set, you haven't made a Grand Slam final before, what do you tell yourself? What kind of experience do you call on to pull yourself together, convince yourself you can still win?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I was trying to be in a good relationship with myself and get encouraging and pushing forward for something good to happen. I knew I was not done at that point, I had more to give. I was playing much better. All I had to do was put in the concentration.

Q. You've been long tipped to reach a Grand Slam final. You've done it at the age of 22. Is this quicker than you expected in your progression in tennis? Do you feel in yourself now that you belong at the top of the world's elite?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I've never believed, have never really thought at what age that achievement might come, so I can't answer that.

But I'm really happy with myself. I think I've shown good discipline so far. I've been progressive. There is the final, which is exciting. I'm looking forward on leaving my entire body on the court.

Q. Can you just address and talk about the emotions you were feeling on the court. It looked like you really sort of let go and there were some tears out there.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It's reflecting back to the past. Roland Garros has been a historical tournament. It has been an event that I've been watching since I was little. My coach has been -- it has been his favorite tournament. I grew up with him. It's a tournament that we always followed, we always watched.

I was mostly being emotional for putting myself in that position. I was kind of being emotional for him. He's back in Greece now, in Athens. I'm pretty sure he's very proud of me so far. For sure that's the first step. I haven't finalized it yet.

Q. We don't know yet who you'll play on Sunday. Could you speak about each of the possible opponents separately. Maybe start with Rafael Nadal, how you would describe the challenge of taking on Rafa in a French Open final.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Both of them it will have to be physical, both of them attention to detail, full concentration. There isn't much difference between those two. I feel it's got to be the same commitment and same level of tennis and intensity regardless of who is going to win.

Q. You have to go through obviously a critical situation in the beginning of the fifth set where you have three breakpoints against you. How did you manage to go through this mentally and turn this game?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I'm someone who fights. I was not willing to give up yet. I think I did few things right that worked in my favor. I was still alive. I was still able to come back to the match.

It was a breath of fresh air, that first game. I felt revitalized. I felt like now it's time to take that into my advantage.

Q. Let's just say it is Rafa across the net from you. It's often been said playing Rafa at Roland Garros is the toughest challenge in tennis. What will you have to do to get past him in the final?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Play a better tennis overall of all the clay court encounters that I've had with him in the past. I don't like to think there is something for him here. So for me it's a clay court match that happens to be here. It's kind of the same approach. I'd like to think there are not big differences from here and, for example, Barcelona.

Yeah, just have to be fresh, have to be feeling good. Of course, he's much respected and has done great here, but it's time for me to go for my chances. It's time for me to show that I'm capable of playing either him or Novak, who has also done few times well here.

I'm looking forward to that challenge. I'm looking forward to bring my game to kind of challenge myself to step it up.

Q. In terms of your career, how big a win is that to reach your first Grand Slam final and what does it mean to you, your family, and everyone who supported you?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It means a lot. It was a difficult match. It was a match full of emotions, full of so many different phases that I went through. So at the end it was just such a big relief I was able to close it in such a good way.

It was just exhausting. It was difficult to handle all of these things and put them together, kind of compromise on some others. I was able to deliver and close the match when I had to. I'm proud of myself. I actually love what I'm doing. I love that I get to play in this stadium. I'm grateful for every single match that I get to play. I'm obviously just blessed to have the opportunity to play against the best and test myself, something that I've always dreamed and wished to happen one day.

I'm able to be here and really going for it. I love that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108661-1-1145 2021-06-11 18:05:00 GMT

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