Tsitsipas Takes Long View On ‘Marathon’ Race For World No. 1 | ATP Tour

Stefanos Tsitsipas knows what it takes to win the Nitto ATP Finals. After winning the title in London on his 2019 debut, the Greek is looking forward to making new memories in Turin, where his 2021 performance was cut short by an elbow injury.

If the second seed can reclaim the year-end title as an undefeated champion, he will finish the season atop the Pepperstone ATP rankings for the first time.

“I’m actually very determined and extremely privileged to be able to fight for the world No. 1 spot because it’s always been a dream of mine since I was little to be crowned world No. 1.” , did he declare. told ATP Media ahead of the event.

“It would definitely mean a lot. It’s an amazing thing to accomplish something like this. I’ll try to be relaxed, enjoy the process, not think too much about the destination, but the journey is the one that counts. In this case, playing good tennis and having fun on the court is much more important than obsessing over that World No. 1 title, which could come now or later. a sprint.

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While the Greek has admitted his nervousness about his chance to reach No.1 contributed to his first-round exit at the US Open – where a title would have propelled him to first place – he is entering Turin with a new mindset, full of confidence after a consistent season in which he won two titles and won a tour-leading 60 games.

“I feel very good with my body and my game,” he said. “I am happy to be fighting here for something prestigious in this type of event. I have earned my place by playing tennis consistently throughout the year with good results in just about every surfaces. It turned out better than I expected, and I’m happy now, sitting in this chair, being one of the eight best players in the world.”

The two-time defending Monte Carlo champion far exceeded his own expectations at the start of the year by reaching the Australian Open semi-finals just two months after surgery on his dominant elbow.

“I wasn’t thinking about the best things at the time and my mind was very busy with how I’m going to recover, how I’m going to come back stronger,” Tsitsipas explained. “Honestly, I had no expectations at the start of the year. I thought I would pick up later in the year, maybe in the middle of the clay swing that I will maybe start to feeling better my arm My doctor said it might take a while.

“I was able to produce really good tennis in the first Grand Slam of the year, playing with low expectations, I would say, when I was on the court. I kept picking up a lot of points at the start of the season, and it kind of gave me a sign, an idea of ​​where I’m at with my game, that I shouldn’t back down, that this is an opportunity right now that I can actually use .”

Pulled into the loaded red group in Turin, where he is joined by former Nitto ATP Finals champions Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev, as well as the dangerous Andrey Rublev, Tsitsipas has his work cut out at the Pala Alpitour. He didn’t want it any other way.

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“It’s not supposed to be easy, is it?” he said laughing. “These kind of events that you don’t have very often during the year. It’s the only event of the year that is so demanding, where the intensity is so high. It doesn’t matter who you go with being drawn is just not enough. It doesn’t matter, all these players can play, we’re tied.

“Until we go out on the pitch, it’s the psychology you put out there, it’s the hard work you have to instill to get a good result and [make sure] nothing falls out of place.”

Tsitsipas opens the game Monday night against Djokovic in a rematch of their thrilling semi-final at the Rolex Paris Masters, a 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4) victory for the Serbian who improved his ATP Head2Head record against Tsitsipas at 9-2.

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