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January 21, 2019

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said afterwards you'd been analyzing Roger since you were six years old. What study have you done?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Don't think of something extraordinary, like watching statistics, doing that kind of stuff. No, I didn't do that.

I was just watching matches, trying to understand the patterns and the way, the mental side as well, the way they think on the court.

These players, they are the best example if you want to make it big in the game. In that way, I meant 'analyzing'. Not too much. Not expert level. Just by watching matches, highlights.

I mean, they are great players to watch: him, Rafa, Novak. They are very good examples of how to improve your game. I'm pretty sure it helped me.

Q. I remember you saying at Wimbledon you'd been watching the Federer-Sampras match. Is that a match you watch every slam or by surface? Have you been watching that match here as well?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I haven't watched that match here in Melbourne yet. Actually, that was fourth round, as well. That's crazy. What a coincidence.

Yeah, I did watch that match when I was playing Wimbledon, grass courts. I did watch couple of his matches in the past that he played on hard courts. I watched few highlights of him on the best possible platform: YouTube. It's the platform - I'm not paid to say it - that I used to do the analyzing, as you said.

Yeah, I kind of watch some highlights of players that beat him in Grand Slams. It was actually not Rafa, Djokovic, but some other players that have beaten him in the past US Open. Very similar game style like me. I will not say which player. He did beat him in US Open a few years ago.

It was a good example to see the way he played, the way he fought into the match to get that win. I'm pretty sure that helped today.

Q. I understand you spent some time with Andy Murray at a training camp. Could you tell us what you gained from that, the effect it might have had on your development as a tennis player.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I have practiced with him three or four times in the past. That was many years ago. That was two years ago. I don't know if that's considered 'many'. I did practice with him.

He got invited to the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, my training base. We had a couple of hits with him during that week. I learned a lot. I learned that you need to be a hard worker to make it big because he did stay in the court during all of our practice sessions more than three hours. He would work on many things. That was inspiring to see.

The way he worked, the way he developed as a player, even though at that time he was top five, if I'm not wrong. That definitely helped me a little bit to understand, to get a better taste and understanding of what's going on in that level of tennis.

I think for sure it had an impact on me.

Q. You saved every single breakpoint today, 12. How do you explain that and what is your mentality like on those important points?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I was just serving well. Even sometimes I didn't serve first serve, sometimes I would start the point with a second serve. I think I was just very aggressive from the very beginning from his return. I managed to not make any mistakes, stay in the point, make him play. Most of the times he missed. Most of the times I saved those breakpoints.

It was actually very mental, I would say. I could have cracked at any moment, but I didn't because I really wanted it bad. I showed it on the court. Obviously and for sure that mental toughness helped a lot. It could have been a different match if I wouldn't stand that pressure.

Q. What does this triumph mean to you?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: A flashback of, I don't know, just happiness, pure happiness. It was a very emotional moment. It was something -- a beginning of something really big. I felt joy. I felt happiness. I felt a huge relief going out of my shoulders.

That moment is definitely something that I will never, ever, ever forget. This match point is going to stay, I'm pretty much sure, forever, for the rest of my life.

Q. The flashback?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Flashback of watching Federer. I just managed to close that match and stay strong, beat my idol. My idol today became pretty much my rival.

Q. John McEnroe said on the court this match was the changing of the guard. Do you believe it's true?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.

Q. John McEnroe said on the court...
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I heard that part.

Q. I'm sure you wish that was true, but do you believe this match is the changing of the guard?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I mean, I try to take every match differently. For sure it's a good win against Roger. I mean, we all know who Roger Federer is, what he has done in tennis. But I still have to keep my focus, keep my concentration on further goals that I want to achieve. That's a very good beginning. I need to stay humble.

This win is a good milestone, let's say good first step, as I said, to something bigger. I do feel like my game is pretty good at the moment. I feel confident. That's very important. I'm really pumped and excited to be competing in the quarterfinals two days from now. I'm really waiting for that moment.

Q. You face another player who has never been to a Grand Slam quarterfinal before. That's probably not what you would expect. Mentally, how does that challenge change?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Same thing as Federer. These players obviously are different than any other player. You need something extra to beat those players. I did show that today.

But if I manage to keep the same levels of concentration like I did today, same patience, same mental toughness, willing to fight, I'm pretty sure it's going to go pretty well.

But I do have, again, as I said, to stay humble and concentrated on the goals I've set this year. This match is very important to me. I'm going to try to, yeah, fight hard again and give my best all out on the court.

Q. How do you plan to go back to square one? What is your perspective on the remainder of the tournament? Can you go all the way?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: For sure. That's why I'm here. That's why I'm playing, for the trophy, for the title. Yeah, again, I feel good. I really want it badly. I really want to proceed further in the tournament, yeah, to make myself happy and the people that are cheering for me happy.

I really like this atmosphere that's on the court, the whole dynamic of it, I would say. It just feels so nice to be playing on these courts. It's spectacular. I really want to stay here as long as possible. That's my goal.

Q. Did you see what was happening outside?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Someone told me, yeah, that they were cheering all the time. Were they Greek fans?

Q. Yes.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I didn't hear them. I do appreciate the support.

Q. You mentioned YouTube earlier. What happened to your Sydney video?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: How do I know? I had to delete it for some reasons. I did realize this footage from Sydney is not allowed, it's not allowed to fly drones in the city. I mean, for the better good, not to get in trouble, I prefer not to have that video online.

But it was a very nice video. It took me hours to make. It actually was really spectacular. It was nice to watch. But unfortunately I don't want to get into trouble because of that.

Q. You're playing style is instinctive. Do you make a game plan before you play or some other way you approach points, problem solving?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Actually both. I do have a plan before I go to the court. Sometimes, yeah, decision making during the match, what feels right, what I see on the court. If I take a decision, I won't hesitate. That's pretty much what I've changed in my development as a player. I stopped being hesitant on what I'm going to do when the ball is in front of me.

I know from the very beginning where I'm going to go, what I'm going to do, what is my plan with that shot. That's something that I have improved a lot.

Yeah, playing these guys, you always have to have a clear plan, know what you're doing on the court, otherwise you are pretty much screwed, yeah.

Q. What was the plan versus Roger?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I mean, if I tell you, won't be secret any more. I prefer not to say it. I prefer to keep it for myself. Thank you.

Q. One and a half years ago you were still playing challengers. Could you point out the difference of the Stefanos one and a half years ago and the one sitting here?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: That's what I said. One of the things I mentioned right now, this decision making. Serve has improved a lot. Also it's part of the decision making. I stopped being hesitant of where I'm going to serve, what I'm going to do. I feel comfortable going anywhere.

Baseline obviously. I have improved physically. I can play longer, be aggressive more than before. I actually feel like now, with the Stefanos of one and a half years ago, I have more confidence. I do know what I'm doing on the court. I think that's a big difference since two years ago.

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