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October 11, 2019

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Shanghai, China

S. TSITSIPAS/N. Djokovic

3-6, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you reset after that first set?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I was serving well. Stupid break in, what was it, second game of the match straightaway? I missed a volley I shouldn't have missed. I don't know why it got in my head so much. Over the net. Played it out. Just felt a bit short, no?

Yeah, just stupid break in the first set and couldn't find the momentum to break back. It did happen eventually in the second set. Same with the third.

I felt like I was serving better, and I think that affected the way I was thinking on the court that I'd be happy to get a break at some point of the match, and keeping that consistency on my serve and making him guess and mixing the serve a lot, not giving him much of a same angle to play with, because obviously he returns really well and that's one of his biggest weapons on the tour.

Yeah, that's it.

Q. Where does this rank in terms of your career? Is it the best victory you have ever had?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It's the best comeback that I have ever had probably. I would say also Federer's comeback in the Australian Open wasn't easy. I lose the first set against one of the best tennis players in the world and managed to win three consecutive sets after that.

Same today but with less sets, two sets, which was quite difficult for me to pull out. It was a very difficult victory mentally to -- I wasn't really thinking that long term that I have to win two sets. It just went step by step. It happened.

I broke him, I won the set, I stayed there, broke him again, eventually I got the win at the end. Yeah, I wasn't really thinking too much of the future, and I think that helped a lot.

Q. You seemed to be in conversation with yourself during the match, talking to yourself. What's going on in your head when you're up and when you're down?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Was I talking to myself? (Smiling.)

I was talking to my dad, no? That was the moment? Really?

I guess the only thing I can think of right now is he hit some insane shots completely, like unbelievable, which I had no chance of getting back.

He hit a couple of lines, some good defenses, and I was just saying to myself, How is that even possible? It's just incredible to be this close from the lines. That's probably the only thing that I was talking to myself. I think laughing sometimes relaxes me.

Q. A lot of younger players are always intimidated by the big names. Yet you have had success against all three of the biggest names in the game. What is it you feel in your personality that allows you not to feel that intimidation?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, yeah, I always dreamt of beating those players, and I see each match when I go out on the court as an opportunity to bring the best out of me. It's a very big boost.

I honestly feel like they are more threatened than I am, and I think also that gives me kind of like a more relaxed me out on the court.

So I know I just have to play the level, and the difference of the level of the rest of the opponents that I'm playing and competing against isn't that big. I know I just have to hang in there and be able to, I think, be more aggressive. Because once you get aggressive and they see that you're really going for it, I might even say they get scared. So that's a good way, approach, to take it.

The fact that I also had, I think, plenty of practice sessions with Novak in the past in the place we both reside, in Monte-Carlo. We played plenty of times with each other, and getting that feeling of how he constructs his points, the patterns that he uses. Same with Roger, same with Rafa. Rafa, I didn't have the opportunity to practice this much with. So I think that also helps a lot going out on the court, knowing that I have played, hit with him couple of times and lack of surprise, I mean, it's less. No, sorry. Yeah, it's just better in your head. Things are better in your head.

Q. Also, win or lose today, you made it into your first year-end final. Just address how important that is or special.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, it's great. I was a bit surprised when the journalist told me that I qualified. I didn't think of it when I came out of the court, and it was a good little surprise. Made me feel even better (smiling).

It's great. It's sweet (smiling). It's something that I have been trying to get, and it was in my bucket list from the beginning of the year, so I'm glad I secured my spot in the Nitto Finals, and I feel like it's going to be a great show and a great atmosphere for all of us, for all the players that will be competing in that special celebration, special event taking place in London.

Q. Your next opponent is Daniil Medvedev. How does a big win today help your confidence when you go in against someone you have never beaten before?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, I would say that I'm more relaxed nowadays than ever. You know, I'm just going to have to play well.

He has a very different tennis from most of the players that I have been playing against this year. He's a very mental player, I would say. So this win over Novak is a boost. It does help. It makes me feel good about my tennis, about my game.

Tomorrow is going to be a new challenge for me. I hope I feel well. I hope it's going to be a fresh, new Stefanos out on this court showing his best tennis and playing smart and making him play out of his comfort zone.

Q. You made a video about Shanghai last year, which is very interesting. I want to know how is your city exploring going on this year? Which part of Shanghai makes you feel special?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Wow, I really liked -- we went to a restaurant with a very nice view of the tower in the very center of the city. I really liked the location and the food that we had there.

I didn't have much time to explore other places in Shanghai. As it is, I don't have anyone to show me where to go (smiling).

I also experienced something I never experienced before, which was me stuffed in a metro with thousands of people which was, like, yeah, insane, because we were just so many people in a tiny little space trying to get in. Some of them, yeah, it was -- you just see things you never see before. It was quite unusual.

What else did I see? I mean, I had -- I took some really nice pictures and videos. That makes me happy already.

Q. Your popularity level is rising rapidly in China. I have to tell you fans here love your mom.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I know. She told me yesterday.

Q. From Beijing to Shanghai, your mom give fans chocolate, water, tickets, even VIP tickets. Did she do everywhere or just in China?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Everywhere. She's like this. I tell her sometimes, Mom, relax. I mean, you don't have to do this much. Obviously people appreciate it and love it, but sometimes I feel like -- I don't know, I'm in the locker room and she just brings me balls to sign from people outside. (Laughter.) I'm, like, Okay, take it easy.

No, she is very helpful and makes people feel nice of who they are. She's a provider. People love her. Yeah, she did tell me this morning that people were -- Fognini was passing. I think he just finished a practice or something, and she was walking towards my practice, and everybody was screaming her name.

Fabio was, like, What is happening here? Why is everybody screaming, Mom, mom, mom? That was funny.

Well, I guess, yeah, it is what it is, and I'm really happy, for sure. I'm really happy that she makes people happy.

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