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May 12, 2019

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Madrid, Spain

N. DJOKOVIC/S. Tsitsipas

6-3, 6-4


Q. He played very well. How did you feel physically after all your efforts of recent weeks? Do you feel it had any impact on the match considering you had to play the tough one last night?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: He deserved the victory, he played unbelievable. I couldn't do much. Really like I think his performance this week -- I didn't play with all the guys, but pretty sure was the best. So physically I was not there. My legs were not coping with my mind. Completely I could feel the fatigue and this soreness, not just in my legs, but everywhere in my body.

And yes, he played quite smart. He tried moving me around the court. He knew I had a tough match last night, so he took advantage of that knowing that, you know, he's going to have to make me run and suffer more and I just didn't have solutions.

I tried getting the ball, coming a little closer to the line but I didn't feel today that comfortable doing that. He seemed very solid from the baseline. He knew what he was doing. And that's about it.

Q. Last year you got to the final in Barcelona. Conditions there are different. Here in Madrid it was very different to play at night and during the day?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: To be honest with you, I liked it at night. We started a match in the final. And it is not a complaint, but the sun was rising and in the first four games of the match I really couldn't see where he was serving due to the shadow difference. Obviously I don't care too much, I have to play. I prefer matches here at night. They are much better, I guess, yeah.

Q. Stefanos, what did you feel he was doing the best out there to make you feel uncomfortable? What is the toughest when facing him?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: He has the best backhand on tour I have ever seen in a human being. He controls it so well. He can play cross, he can play down the line the same way. And that's very difficult to deal with.

Usually some players have a good stroke, but it's not that consistent, so I find if he's in a day where his serve works pretty well, the placement of his serve, his forehand is not his biggest weapon. He can hit it but it's not his biggest weapon. But he can, if the backhand and the serve work really well, he can -- that is why he has been dominating for so many years.

Q. In the final in Estoril that you played and you won, we talk a lot about Pablo Cuevas, that shot that he did a smash and then he replied the ball under the leg. How did you feel about that shot as an opponent? And do you remember that shot as one of the best you have seen in your history?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: What was the question?

Q. The question was if you remember the point against Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay, that he passed the ball...
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I forget about this point, it was like the point of the century or something (laughing).

Q. Stefanos, as you know, tennis never stops. You already have a second round opponent for Rome. Given how you said you are feeling physically, does that sound horrible right now? Will you be going to Rome to play?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I really hope I get some extra days of recovery and I get to play late as possible. Yeah, that's it.

Q. You have played Rafa and Novak in consecutive days now. Rafa normally walks into the French Open as a favorite. He's won it 11 times. But Novak has won the last three Grand Slams. It feels equal this year. Who do you feel is the favorite heading into the French Open as of right now?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think Novak is in pretty good form right now. We'll never know. Nadal -- the conditions here are so different. There's altitude. So, I think Federer said it in his previous interviews, tennis at sea-level is going to be different in the next couple of weeks, nothing compared to this tournament.

So, yeah, I'm going to have to adjust to that. I'm quite happy and excited how I did here, but it's quite different when you go back to sea-level tennis.

Q. With yesterday's win, you proved you can beat Novak, Federer and Djokovic. Every time you have beaten one of them, you lost to one of the other two in the same tournament so what is it that makes it so difficult to beat two guys in the same tournament?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It's, like, I don't know. First of all, it's tough physically because to beat those guys you always have to reach your maximum effort and to give your highest, like, when you compare to other players. They just make you suffer, that's all they do. It is really tough to physically cope with that and I think that's the biggest challenges you have if you are ever going to play all of those guys in the same tournament.

For sure, it's part of the plan at some point to get physically better, do everything better, be more professional and avoid these kind of things because, as you have seen, Djokovic and Nadal have been doing well in tournaments over and over and over again, week-by-week.

I think most of them have won Madrid, Rome, Monte-Carlo, which is just -- the consistency level is just insane, it is amazing. So I really hope I get close to that. It is one of my dreams and my goals to be consistent with every single tournament that I play.

Q. You have given the impression you feel you belong at the highest level. How would you describe your feeling now after losing a final like that in straight sets? Do you feel achievement, or do you feel disappointment, deflation? What do you feel?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I feel happy with my performance for a couple of days. At the same time, I feel empty. I don't know. Empty. Not disappointment. A little bit but not so much, like usually.

Just I'm so tired right now that my mind is not working and I don't know. Like, I'm not thinking of anything right now.

Q. We saw you play in the Masters Under 21 in Milan. A little question. To play four games it makes you play with more intensity. Do you think everybody should practice that? Was it good for you?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It's quite interesting the system of the four game thing. First of all, the focus levels are higher. Intensity is higher because every point counts. If you do a mistake in a match -- usually you do the mistakes in a match you have more games to play. You never know what is going to happen in the future. So there it's more like playing in the now, playing in the present. So that's what makes it different.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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