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November 8, 2018

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Fiera Milano, Italy


4-1, 4-3, 4-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be the star of the tournament? Top seed, No. 1, wins all the time.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It feels right. It feels right because I'm doing a good job, and I work hard for every match. And it feels nice, of course, to be part of this because, as I said, what I said before. And I'm playing well, I'm feeling well, and I'm happy to be the star.

I know there's another star which had three wins in a row in the other part of the draw. So the tournament is not over yet. There are two more matches.

Q. Are those two matches something you're going to start thinking about soon or will you take them one at A time and what do you think of those potential matches?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Actually, it's not two matches. It's one match at a time.

Q. Okay. So how do you see the next match that you've got to play and your opponent?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Definitely much more aggressive. And, yeah, he won't give me that many opportunities like Hubert today. He has been played good players on the tour. So, yeah, it's going to be a fight. It's going to be tough match to deal with, let's say.

I'm going to have to be ready for that, for the battle. I'm going to have to be ready mentally to work hard to get that win.

Q. Is it hard to play against somebody who is very emotional?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I know that, yeah. I'm going to have to avoid that and play my game and not watch what he's doing, what he's saying.

I know he gets emotional sometimes, so I'm going to pretend like there's no other half of the court. It's me and the court and the ball. That's it.

Q. When you talk, you are always saying work hard and so on. You use all these expressions: work.

Q. How much is it work and how much is still a game or a fun for you? How much you really feel that you go to the office or that you go to have fun?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, yeah. At the current moment, it's more work than fun. I did have fun -- a lot of fun when I was young. I saw it as hobby. Now it's my profession, so I have to take it a bit more seriously.

And, of course, fun is there because without fun I'm probably going to stop in two years playing tennis. So I don't want that to happen.

There is fun but there is a lot of discipline, and there's a lot of working ethic on the court. And as I said, strong mentality, which I have to always carry with me when I'm playing every single match. Because if I have too much fun, if I have too much fun, then the result or my performance might decrease. I don't want that.

Q. Last year I made an interview with you in the hotel right before the tournament. You were playing the exhibition match with Alexander Zverev. It was a huge year for you. I mean, turning year of your career. I would like you to tell me which were the milestones, the matches or the tournaments that makes you from a good to a great player.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Many matches this year. The one I played with Djokovic, the one I played with Anderson, the one I played with Zverev. Most of them were in the Rogers Cup.

The match that I played in --

Q. Maybe Barcelona you lost.

Q. It was a great match.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It was a good match. I got my ass kicked, but I learned a lot that day.

Q. Your dad told me that for him it's more important your attitude than your ranking. How can you explain this? Because it's completely different the values that are in this world.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: The values, exactly. As you said, the values are different. If you are always negative and show negative emotions and don't behave like a professional, as you said. It's better to be professional in what you do and be disciplined and concentrated every single time than have a good ranking and be -- I don't want to say names, but I know what you mean. I know what you might think.

Q. What do you think about Alex de Minaur? Because both of you have only lost one set each throughout this tournament. Do you think you're both on the same sort of trajectory through this week?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: We are. We are both playing great tennis. We're both fighting on the court. Both of us are very professional and take every match seriously. And Alex has done a great year. I think two ATP finals. No, actually, three ATP finals, which is impressive for his age.

His game is much different than most of the Next Gen players, which is inspiring to see. It's, yeah, fighting for every point, not a huge server, but covering all his weaknesses with something else.

Q. How does it feel to be an example for kids at 20 years old? How does it feel for you?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think it's normal. I'm doing well. You know, some people might get inspired after what they see. I totally get it because I felt the same way when I was a kid.

So I'm happy that I have fans. They make me work harder. They make me love tennis even more, the fans that come support me in every single match, the fans that love me, the fans that give me all these positive messages.

So, yeah, without them and without the kids, that I inspire, I think I help for a better next generation of kids playing good tennis. And part of it I can say, yeah, I'm inspiring the kids and that's great.

Q. In Greece there is always some sort of economical crisis. You're making a lot of money but everyone is talking about the Greek TV, and they were telling me that they struggle to follow you. They want to be wherever you are, in Australia, but they don't have money enough to afford. Do you think somehow you can help this situation in a way?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I cannot support a whole TV channel on my own. Let's be serious.

Q. What could you do? Nothing? I mean, just to help the media to follow you more.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think to help the media follow me, better results, maybe Grand Slam titles. Tennis becomes big, No. 1 sport in Greece and then people, you know, pay attention.

Q. Right now is what sport?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I don't know if it's No. 1 yet. We still have football and basketball.

Q. I'm saying right now soccer is the first sport in Greece. Second and third which one?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Basketball, water polo maybe, light athletics, track and field, and then probably, I don't know, tennis. Might be volleyball and then tennis.

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