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Tsitsipas says he'd love to have more friends on tour
The world No. 15 has made his way to his first career fourth round in Melbourne where he will face Roger Federer.
Published Jan 18, 2019
MELBOURNE—Stefanos Tsitsipas has had no problems introducing himself to the ATP Tour—on the court. In 2018, the 20-year-old won his first title (in Stockholm), scored four Top-10 wins in a row (in Toronto) and reached No. 15 in the world. Now the Greek will have the biggest occasion of his young career so far in playing Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
"If I thought about it now it's insane I'm in this position where I can actually play him," Tsitsipas said. "It's really emotional."
Federer defeated Tsitsipas in two tiebreak sets in their only previous meeting—albeit unofficial—at the Hopman Cup.
Off the court, the youngster is still getting to know players on the tour. Federer described him as being shy during their initial meetings, but Tsitsipas says he's changed.
“I do all the talking in the court,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m not shy. Actually, I was shy when I was a kid but not anymore. I learn to find my comfort when I'm with people. I think I'm comfortable meeting new people and having a discussion with someone. Not many of the players want to be friends on the tour. That's a problem. That's an issue, unless you speak the same language.
"But I would love to have more friends on tour. I'm working on it.”
He's also working on his confidence against the big names on the biggest stages. That confidence will be necessary against the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
“It's not easy to play these kind of players that you've been watching for so long and you finally get to play them," Tsitsipas said. "Mentally you have to be much stronger than any other match that you have faced that week. Having such a name like Federer on the other side, it's an extra advantage for him, because he's done what he's done. But mentally, for players to beat him, they have to be ready and believe in themselves that they are, their game is great enough to beat such a player.
"I feel good. I can tell you that.”
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