November 17, 2020
London, England, UK
S. TSITSIPAS/A. Rublev
6-1, 4-6, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Obviously a great win for you today. I was wondering if you could give us a look ahead on your match against Rafa? Obviously it would be like a quarterfinal now and you lost to him last year. What are your thoughts on this match?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: My thoughts? Opportunity for me to fight even harder and give my very best out on the court. I know it will require a lot of physical effort, and I'm going to have to go through a lot of pain and suffering, so it is going to be difficult match. Yeah, I'm expecting a fight from my side.
I really want it a lot, and I hope I get (indiscernible) with tennis. I'm really looking forward on bringing my best tennis out there not tomorrow but in the next two days. It's a great challenge.
Q. You talked on the court about having experience. I'm curious in what way has that changed you as a player on the court? In what way are you different from, say, a year ago or 18 months ago?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: You know, experience is something that is not really like when it has to do with a skill. Also mostly with your mind and the way you tend to take risks and go for things.
But it means like you have tried and failed in the past, and you learn from that and move forward. So there are certain pieces that you put together when tight moments occur during a match.
For me, experience like, yeah, I have plenty experience in tennis and it's growing and getting more and more every single year. The difference would be my decision-making on the court.
Sometimes, you know, it's not that -- okay, it's difficult because sometimes you learn from last year but it doesn't really work out the same on the court. You know, there are a lot of nerves and some moments get tight.
So at the end of the day, it's just being brave and using your braveness through your experience. I would describe it that way. And it has become better and better year by year. I'm still trying to improve on it as much as I can.
Q. What were your thoughts when Andrey had the match point and he double-faulted? And do you think Domi should send you a bottle of ouzo that you helped confirm his place in the semis?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Domi should send me something else. I don't think ouzo would be the right thing (smiling). Perhaps a platter of some Vienna schnitzel.
I didn't really think much about it at that given moment. I just kept my focus because I knew I had to win the next point in order to make a difference.
I was eyes on the prize. That's how I would say it. I was just focusing on the now and on the present moment that was given to me. At 6-All I went for it. I had a very good return, deep return that allowed me to turn around and hit a successful forehand that played a lot of pressure.
I think, yeah, the psychology changed after that.
Q. I'd like to know what player, when is facing a match point, usually thinks. Is he hoping, oh, let's hope he doesn't put the first serve in and then maybe let's hope that he doesn't put the second serve in and makes a double fault? Or I have to be aggressive now and attack him on the forehand, on the backhand, depending? I'd like to know what goes through the mind.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: You know what goes through the mind on match point doesn't go through the mind during the entire match. Match point is a different league by itself.
Match point there are many things you have to deal with. If someone tell me I have no pressure on match point I don't really know if that's true or not, because that means you don't care.
Match points usually require a lot of attention and focus more than in the rest of the match, and you just have to bring the best out of your concentration and your mindfulness when you're trying to construct and play that point.
Obviously you want to play with the first serve. It's not always going to be successful in your career. But the goal is to apply pressure for the first serve, and if you are given a second chance, try and press with your second serve. I know it's difficult sometimes, but you have to play percentage tennis at that moment and use your biggest strengths and weapons to apply pressure and execute an aggressive attacking game, which is going to put him in defensive mode.
Sometimes you want him to attack. Maybe he feels more pressure than you. You can see it on your opponent's eyes. So there are many things that you have to consider and many things that you have to be conscious of when you're facing a match point.
Q. I want to ask you what are your memories from last year game against Rafa, and what key points do you have to improve to have a chance to beat him this time?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I was very concentrated on our match last year and was playing each point individually. I'm going to try and play an aggressive -- in aggressive tennis, you can play defensive with Rafa. Try to play the rallies, you know. Play rallies, apply pressure, serve well.
It is all part of my -- it's part of the game that I want to play against Rafa. I think everyone has to play this way.
I just have to be solid. Have to be more solid than him to win. I know that. I have to start strong and finish even stronger.
Q. I wonder if you started to get frustrated at all in that match? Because Andrey was doing some amazing serving. Started at 3-3 in the second set and he made like seven first serves on breakpoints. Was it tough to keep your cool? What was that experience like?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It was great tennis from him at that point. But it's also sometimes you don't have to give it to your opponent. You have to face the situation yourself and take charge without expecting your opponent to give you a second serve.
Yeah, I have to work on this. I have to be more concentrated, be more there when I have to. My return, for sure I could have applied more pressure and played deeper in the court.
But I missed just a few, and obviously he served also few of them close to the lines, so it was difficult for me to get an aggressive start.
But I think he dealt with it really smart and mature. It was difficult, you know. I was Love-30 down in the very last game of the third set, but I was determined to turn it around and give myself another chance. That's what I'm really happy about today.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports