I’m a big tennis fan, and it’s been an exciting couple of months with three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (Madrid, Monte-Carlo and Rome). Stefanos Tsitsipas, one of my favourite players, has had a busy time at these tournaments, culminating in the finals of the Rome event, in which he lost to Novak Djokovic (6-0, 7-6). He was furious at his performance in the first set and smashed his racket on the net post, earning him a code violation. He did well to raise his game in the second set, pushing Djokovic to a tiebreak. However, his crowning achievement of this year was his victory in the finals of the ATP Masters 1000 at Monte-Carlo in April.
ATP Ranking 2022: World No. 5
Country: Born in Greece (lives in Greece and Monte Carlo)
Turned Pro: 2016
Coaches: Apostolos Tsitsipas, Thomas Enqvist
Grand Slam Career Wins/Losses: 38/18
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a right-handed player with a one-handed backhand. Alongside the likes of Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime, he has a strong chance to become world number 1 in two or three years’ time. I think that Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal will continue to dominate the game for the next year or two, but after then it’s time for these next-gen players to joust for the top spot.
As world number 5, Stefanos Tsitsipas has achieved a lot at such a young age, with a total of 8 ATP titles under his belt. He is yet to win a Grand Slam, but it’s only a matter of time.
Tsitsipas has a strong first serve, exploiting his height to great effect, but his second serve needs improvement in order to put opponents under pressure. His movement around the court is excellent. He has an elegant one-handed backhand topspin groundstroke and a powerful forehand, but often makes unforced errors when he goes for winners prematurely in the point. Fully aware of this, he deliberately adjusted his game to play the percentages more wisely, which “paid off really well,” he told the press conference after his 2022 Monte Carlo win. Sometimes he lets his emotions get the better of him, but he is able to refocus and raise his game when it matters. I look forward to watching Stefanos Tsitsipas’s progress over the next few years.
Age 6: Began playing tennis seriously, coached by his tennis coach father. His mother was a tennis player, who won a tournament at Monte Carlo. Stefanos was a shy and introverted child, bullied at school. As a child he trained at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
2014: Stefanos trained at the Patrick Moratoglu Tennis Academy in France. Patrick Moratoglu is considered one of the world’s finest tennis coaches of all time.
2016: At the age of 18, during a Futures tournament in Crete, Stefanos nearly drowned while swimming off the coast of Crete, when a strong current pulled him and a friend out to sea. His father Apostolos managed to save his son’s life. Stefanos had a near-death experience that day, and it made him value life and his relationship with his father all the more. In that same year, Stefanos became World No.1 Junior player.
2019: A huge year for Stefanos Tsitsipas, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals, where he lost to Rafa Nadal in straight sets. Stefanos went on to win the 2019 ATP Finals, beating Dominic Thiem, Stefanos’s biggest title to date.
2021: Reached the French Open final, losing to Novak Djokovic, and became World No.3, his highest ever ATP singles ranking.
2022: Won the ATP Masters at Monte Carlo, beating Alexander Zverev. “My goal is to finish the year in the top 2,” he said at his press conference.
(Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London, online nutrition coach and keen tennis player).