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May 29, 2019

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Paris, France


4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I would say it wasn't easy. It was a tough match. There was a moment in the match that I want to ask you about. In the third set, 4-2, you tried to play a backhand. You were out of the court. You tried to play a backhand down the line. You missed it. The ball went into the pillar of the net. You stopped, and you went to touch the pillar. You know, the pillar of the net. What was that about, if you can tell us?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I have no idea (smiling).

Q. But you do remember the moment?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I broke something, and I wanted to fix it. I broke the pillar. Did you see that?

Q. No, it was there.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It was there, but it was not in the position it's meant to be.

Q. Oh, okay. Good.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I like things to be organized. Sometimes not with my tennis, but I'm trying to be as close to that as possible.

Q. I'm not sure if you're the kind of player who feels the court, the pace of the court. How different was Chatrier from where you played today? Was that maybe a factor in how you started?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, I had a chat actually a few hours ago with one of the highest-position people in Roland Garros. He asked me the same question. I said that the court is much slower than Chatrier in Simonne Mathieu court. Yeah, much slower.

I was a bit struggling with my slides, sliding on the court. The court doesn't have much clay on it, so it's very dry and gluey. I don't know if that's the right expression. But it was much slower. Even my fitness coach told me the fastest serve today was 180 kilometers per hour, which is very rare to see.

Yeah, the balls were getting really heavy with all the moisture, all the dust from the court and made play very slow and long rallies most of the time.

Q. How did you manage to escape from the pressure after the loss of the first set?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Can you repeat that, please?

Q. How did you manage to escape from pressure after the loss of the first set?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I took some time. I went to the bathroom. Start thinking what went wrong in the first set. That break helped me. So, yeah, I went inside mentally prepared to fight more, and I was aware of the situation I was at.

Once I got myself into the right mindset, things seemed to flow my way. And from there, winning the set 6-0 was good confidence boost for me.

Obviously after that, he didn't want to give up. He fought as much as he could. But I seemed to prevail at the end.

Q. You like to explore the cities where you play. When you think back a year, do you still have the time to do this because of all the new duties and the success you had over the last year?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I feel my schedule is a bit more tight. I would love to -- I have different ideas now. I don't have that much time to do my stuff most of the tournaments. As you can see, I had -- until now, obviously, consistent weeks, week by week.

Q. About your one-handed backhand, did you ever think at some moment in your career switching to double-handed backhand, two-handed backhand?

Q. Never?

Q. Your dad recently was saying how it's a privilege to coach you and he's glad that you allow him to coach you.

Q. I was curious your thoughts on that to hear your father say that about you.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It's a privilege working with him (smiling). It's a big honor to have him next to me by my side. Great coach, and great, too, to have next to you.

He likes to speak a lot sometimes. He cannot help himself. I have said it plenty of times. Umpires and referees are complaining to me that should keep it low. Doesn't happen (smiling).

Something we are working on right now, and hopefully he'll hold his nerves better in the future and be more mature and not talk too much, because sometimes it's unnecessary (smiling).

But he's a great guy. I love him. He loves me. We have been together since the age of 12, traveling together. I appreciate that.

Q. Of all the surfaces in tennis, do you think clay requires the most maturity, especially for a young player? Is that the most difficult part of playing on clay?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Clay courts require patience more than any other surface and right strategy. If you're playing the wrong way and your opponent can dictate what you're doing, then you're screwed.

So patience, not rushing too much, because, yeah, there is plenty of time to think. Patience and right execution.

Q. The other day you spoke about leaving home very early to seek your tennis dreams. Many players have done that. Some have been terrified, say, like Andre Agassi, the American. Others like Roger have been very excited. What were your feelings as a young boy when you set out at the age of 12 to seek tennis?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I was excited that I'm going to be able to travel everywhere around the world. I liked it. It's tough to believe that Andre Agassi didn't like it. Some of his -- I have read his book. It's quite interesting what he had to say, which, yeah, so many majors, so many titles.

No, but my dad was actually also into it. He was willing to travel. He was willing to sacrifice a few things. And at the very beginning was tough, but then time by time it felt better and better.

Q. We know that one of the things that you enjoy to do is to film a travel blog, covering your experiences. Can you tell us what you learned most about your journey here last year at Roland Garros and what you are most excited about for your journey this year?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I learned a lot last year. I lost to the finalist of the tournament. He was playing unbelievable, I can tell you that. I played all the guys on clay, but that match, there was a certain moment in the match where he was just crushing it on the court.

So I learned that human beings are able to play at that level (smiling). That was amazing to see.

And then, yeah, I believed in that, and I wanted to be like -- Dominic kind of inspired me because he was one of the first one-handers after Federer to beat Nadal on clay. Cuevas, as well. So these two guys inspired me a lot. I took a lot from him, I think. It's nice to have players like him on the tour where you can just look after and try to take a few things here and there.

Q. And for this year?

Q. Hopes and dreams and ambitions.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: To be holding that beautiful trophy that Roland Garros has to offer (smiling).

Q. On a lighter note, you are here first time as a top 10er at Roland Garros and one of the favorites. Can you tell some of the practical things maybe that changed for you since last year? Maybe your personal locker or locker room, more media requests, people recognizing you on the streets, you know, in terms of this?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: That's for sure. People are recognizing me on the street. That's -- yeah, I'll have to agree with that.

All of the above, all of what you said. Private locker rooms, for sure. What else?

A lot of DMs. A joke. Personal? No, I don't know if I would like that. I don't have a driving lessons, but I would like to drive. What else? I mean, success, obviously, seeing my name in different places.

Q. Party invitations?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I'm not a party guy, to be honest with you. If I would make a party, I would make it on my terms, like, I would select certain people, and, yeah, parties, not really.

I mean, wealth. That kind of stuff. Feeling comfortable with my close ones. I think also the wealth, as I said, part, has also given me a little bit of freedom in my life, which is nice to see. And also for my family and friends.

Q. You played quite a little bit of doubles this year. Did so very successfully. Do you find in your singles game that it helped you a lot, that doubles success? And where?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I felt more comfortable in the net, coming to the net, approaching. I still feel, although today wasn't my best volleying experience in the match. I would call it that way. I didn't volley that way.

Doubles has educated me on when it comes to aggressive tennis, and I took a lot from that.

Q. You said your father speaks too much in the crowd sometimes, but if the ATP Tour doesn't have on-court coaching where the coach comes on to talk, but if it did, what would your dad be like at that?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: He would be the most interesting guy to watch during the changeovers (smiling).

I don't know if you remember the headphone thing in the NextGen Finals? I didn't quite like it. I prefer to be alone when I play.

I don't know. Some people, it helps them to give advice. I mean, I like advice. If it's short and on point, then it's fine. But sometimes, you know, coaches make it a bit more overcomplicated, and that's what I hate. This A, B, C, D, instead of, I don't know, going all the way around.

I really don't know what to say about the on-court coaching for ATP. Nothing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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