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May 18, 2019

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Rome, Italy

R. NADAL/S. Tsitsipas

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Which was the most difficult thing today against Rafa? Was it about yourself or what?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I don't know how to answer that. The court speed, that's what it was.

Q. What do you think changed in your game to last week?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Nothing. I'm the same person as I was last week. Nothing changed. Just kept playing well, having fun on court.

Q. It's been a very stretch of runs for you, Estoril, Madrid. Are you satisfied with your clay preparation for Paris, your results?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I am satisfied. I had a lot of matches on clay. I think that's important coming into a tournament like the French Open. Yeah, I think I learned a lot these three weeks.

It's good to come into a Grand Slam knowing what you done well, what you done wrong, trying to concentrate on those things in order to avoid same mistakes in the big events.

Q. When you play against Rafa in Australian Open, you say he is kind of player who make you feel a little bit uncomfortable, tough to find a rhythm against him. Seems like on the clay, in Madrid and here, you found some solution or answer. Talk a little bit about that.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think if he's in good shape on hard, he can be very dangerous. His shots are very fast. Playing him on fast surfaces, he can play well.

He's very dangerous on clay. But I feel like on clay you have more time to think of your game plan and tactics. I realized that in Madrid, that he's actually very tough to play on clay. But as someone once said, not unbeatable.

I don't know. I just felt comfortable playing. I didn't feel much annoyed playing him on clay these two matches, which I guess is good. Today I felt very close, despite the two-set loss, at breakpoints. Felt very close.

I'm just trying to realize what I did wrong because, I mean, it was just one break in each set, if I'm not wrong. If that wouldn't happen, you never know.

Q. Anything Rafa do particularly surprise you, or his level was that much better than last week?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think his game was the same like last week. The court was different, much slower. I guess that helps him. He feels more sure with himself, has more time to execute his plan.

In Madrid, as I said, altitude, courts are faster, balls are faster. The shots that I played today, I played similar shots last week. Today those shots felt really slow and he had plenty of time to pass me when I was approaching to the net, which in Madrid it felt quite different. It didn't feel like I had much control of my shots.

The court speed here is much different, as I said. Sea level, it's much different. Oh, my God, I lost my words. Again, the court speed was the difference, I would say. But he played pretty much the same. Maybe a little bit better, but not noticeable difference.

Q. It's been a very good tournament for Greece. Maria on court now. What has that been like for you? And from your Instagram, you're a fan of many Eurovision songs. Are you planning on watching tonight?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Is it the final today?

Q. Yes.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Is Greece in it (smiling)?

Q. Yes, Greece. Cyprus as well.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Cyprus as well. What time?

Q. 9:00.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I watched it last year, okay. If you give me the channel. Which channel?

Q. RAI1.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I'll try to watch it, yeah.

Q. On Sakkari, too, what's the importance of this tournament for Greece, winning Estoril and Rabat?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: She's playing great. She feels very motivated, very comfortable when on the court. I'm happy to see that. She's one of the fittest players out there, in my opinion. If she's in the zone, if she feels well with her serve, obviously she's not very big, but if she feels well with the serve...

Her groundstrokes are pretty good. I mean, you saw that against Roger in the Hopman Cup, the craziest return ever, cross-court backhand. Fast.

If she's in a good day with her serve, I think the rest comes automatically. Backhand is unbelievable. She can control it really well. I'm really inspired by her, to see what she's done. I really hope she feels inspired by me, as well.

I feel like we're the dynamic duo coming from Greece, inspiring young kids, people in general that want to play tennis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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