Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Men's Day 3 Action: Stefanos Tsitsipas
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was that frustrating? The match could have finished an hour earlier.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, that was frustrating. But I knew that the crowd enjoyed the match. They probably wanted to stay a bit longer. I’m pretty sure the next match, Federer and his opponent, were also frustrated that they had to go later. But that’s how it is sometimes in tennis. But if I would think about it too much, it would cost me the match. I rebooted myself, came in refreshed. I said, I’m going to stay another two hours here, but it didn’t happen.
Q. What made the difference in the third set when you just shot away to a big lead?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I might say that also his serve dropped, first-serve percentages, giving me the opportunity and possibility to be more aggressive and start the rallies. I was serving a bit better, maybe opening the court, making like less mistakes, being aggressive. When I broke him first time, I showed him that I’m still in the match, I still want to break him more. I guess that kind of mentally, he saw the dominance of his opponent. Yeah, that affected him probably. That’s how I felt. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
Q. Monfils next. You’re both on those winning streaks. You just played him. How do you look ahead to that one?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, I think it’s a different match now. We’re not playing in altitude with heavy balls. It’s completely different. The court is pretty slow. I mean, we’re both serving really well. We have similar game style. I guess I’m a bit more aggressive than him, but he’s much faster. I’m going to have to deal with all of that, be patient, play with passion as well, just wait for the opportunities to break him. I think I’m going to have to serve well. Is it tomorrow? Yeah, tomorrow. I think I’m going to have to serve well to win that match. If I don’t serve well, I’ll have trouble.
Q. What would it mean for you to be the youngest player in top 10, if you reach top 10 this week?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Youngest?
Q. In top 10.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: What about Zverev?
Q. You are younger.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: The youngest currently, okay. What it means? I’m thinking about it almost every day, yeah (smiling). I want it badly. I want it to happen very much. I know I’ll have to win a couple of crucial matches to get there. The point difference is pretty big. I’m going to have to dominate more.
Q. About the top 10, some players would say they’re trying not to focus on that. For you, is it a good motivation?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It’s a good motivation, exactly, because I’m so close, to get it as early as possible. Me personally, I feel like I have the game to be there already, maybe even in the future, but as soon as possible. It’s better if it happens as soon as possible. It’s better for me, for my confidence as well.
Q. When you were in Dubai in December, you had four goals. Do you remember the four goals? Semis of a slam, top 10, ATP Finals, and Masters 1000.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah.
Q. You won 14 matches already this year. Did you expect things to happen so fast for you?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I had a great pre-season in Dubai this year. I was confident I can do well because I worked a lot. I was not sure if my rivals or the rest of the players were working that hard on court every single day. I felt like I was doing a great job. It was part of my goals, to practice so hard and do fitness every day, hours and hours on the court, loading. That actually helped me with my confidence, knowing that I worked hard. I’m starting the new season dynamic.