Stefanos Tsitsipas was one set from realizing his major dream when Novak Djokovic snatched it away.
The fourth-ranked Tsitsipas aims to return the favor and deny Djokovic his Grand Slam dream.
Fighting from two sets down for the first time in a Slam final, a determined Djokovic defeated a valiant Tsitsipas 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 capturing his 19th major championship at Roland Garros and propelling himself halfway to the calendar Grand Slam earlier this month.
Tsitsipas praises Djokovic as a complete player capable of completing the calendar Golden Slam this year—and the Greek is aiming try to stop it.
“He’s a complete player. He has the potential to do it,” Tsitsipas said of Djokovic. “We as the younger generation, I don’t call me the younger generation anymore, but we are hungry and we want something similar one day.
“Obviously we’re there to stop him. Obviously we’re there to try and kind of put a stop at that dream of his. It’s going to be difficult. Me personally, I find it very challenging playing against him. I think he’s one of the greatest players tennis has seen. It’s this way for a reason. He has worked so hard to get there. He’s someone that I think just right now thinks he’s the best. That’s why he’s been playing this way.”
Two-time defending Wimbledon champion Djokovic is playing for his 20th major championship to match the men’s mark shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who has opted out of Wimbledon. Given the 34-year-old Serbian’s past success and 14-match Wimbledon winning streak, Tsitsipas says stopping Djokovic won’t be easy.
“I have to say that grass court is a surface that he’s been confident and playing good,” Tsitsipas said. “For me personally, I have a long way to go in order to face him in this tournament. It won’t be any easier for I think both of us.”
Photo credit: Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters