By Erik Gudris
Stefanos Tsitsipas is known for playing great tennis. He’s also known for giving great quotes.
The popular and charismatic Greek star certainly had several clever one-liners ready as he spoke to the media ahead of this year’s Roland Garros that starts next week.
Tsitsipas, who reached the semifinals in Paris last year, and won two events this spring, including Monte Carlo, is considered a hot favorite to reach the final. Yet, the entertaining 22-year-old still feels he has a surprise in store for the Parisian fans.
“Whenever I play, I want to be the surprise of the tournament. That’s what I like most about it,” Tsitsipas said. This refers to a statement he made last week after winning Lyon that he wanted to play Roland Garros like he was not a favorite.
Tsitsipas may aim to play under the radar, but that’s going to be very difficult with so many eyes on him after his recent success this season. That includes being the current leader in the ATP Race to the ATP Tour Finals later this year.
His chances at possibly winning his first ever major title improved significantly when the men’s draw was released. There it was revealed that the “Big Three” of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer were all on the opposite of the draw from Tsitsipas.
“Finally, for once,” Tsitsipas said with a smile on his good fortune.
Tsitsipas, though realizing he has an excellent opportunity this year, still knows that he is likely not the overall favorite for the event
—that of course going to defending champion and 13-time champion Nadal. But, Tsitsipas still believes surprises could be in store on the terre battue.
“Well, I would be surprised if, let’s say, I don’t know, like our Spanish friend, you know, wouldn’t be at his — how can I put this together? If our Spanish friend wouldn’t want to make new customers this year for the French. That would be, first of all, one surprise. And the second one would be anything better than semifinals I guess that would be a surprise, I think. Yeah, why not? Like it’s totally normal, I find it.”
Tsitsipas faces France’s Jeremy Chardy in the first round. As far as a personal quote that might help him throughout these two weeks, he cited one of own that he came up with six years ago.
“Don’t wait for opportunity, create it.”
Photo credit: Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Facebook