Stefanos Tsitsipas looking to "loosen up" in 2020

Stefanos Tsitsipas looking to "loosen up" in 2020

"I just took it too serious sometimes," the Greek said of his 2019 season.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is coming off a very good season. Now he wants to do even more -- but with less pressure.

The 21-year-old Greek won titles at Marseille, Estoril and the ATP Finals in 2019, reaching a career-high No.5 in the rankings.

"Now that I can reflect on 2019, I had a pretty spectacular year," he told press at this week's ATP event at Rotterdam. "I couldn't really tell, because I felt there were players who did better than me.

"The toughest thing is actually me trying to do the same this year. I'm going to have to try different formulas and different things to -- not duplicate, maybe even better, because I don't want to do the same thing."

Something Tsitsipas doesn't want to duplicate is his mid-season slump, which included opening-round exits at the All England Club, Montreal, Cincinnati and Flushing Meadows.

"I was trying to get better and better and better, and instead of going upwards, I saw myself [going] downwards," he said. "I realized I had to mentally loosen up and just enjoy the game and not pay so much attention [to] winning."

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He wants to keep that new attitude, which helped him finish the season with the biggest win of his career. "I think just having a good balance. Not so much seeing tennis as a job, more as a game, because I feel -- like, I just took it too serious sometimes. I demanded much from myself," he said. "For sure you're going to do unforced errors. You cannot hit winners and aces all the time. 

"I also think not play at 100 percent every single point."

He's staying positive despite a third round defeat at the Australian Open, and this week will be looking for his first win at Rotterdam, where the No. 6 has competed three times. 

"I'm going to try hard," he said. "I'm going to try to change a few things, and potentially have a breakthrough in this tournament."

Tsitsipas is the is the second seed at Rotterdam.