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January 25, 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: You must be pleased with a lot of things tonight, but especially maybe saving all those breakpoints.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yes. It was very tough, and I had to deal with these moments in the best way. Being able to overcome these difficulties required a lot of mental toughness, and I think I did the right things at these points and managed it very well. It was a great comeback.

It was a match with a lot of emotions, and I had to keep constantly reminding myself to stay in it and try and find solutions to all these problems, because there was heavy hitting, there was lots of rallies. Serves, big serves from both sides. So there was a lot of things going on.


Q. In the fifth set you hit only four unforced errors. On the court you were talking about how you were trying to be consistent. In a crunch time moment, what were you trying to do? How do you feel you handled it?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I felt like there were certain moments where I got defensive and wasn't going for my shot too much, and I kept talking to myself and kept saying, Hit the ball, go for it.

That eventually was kind of engraved in my mind, that voice kind of became a reality on the fifth set. Well, I came to the conclusion that I cannot be too defensive, I cannot stay in the rallies too much. I have to make him move and I have to be aggressive at the same time.

And I cannot for sure -- one thing that I need to avoid at all costs is to keep rallies short, because the fifth set was the moment of the match where things got really physical and I was ready to be in that physical hustle and put a lot of effort into every single point and make him work for every single point. I didn't want him to get free points without working hard for them.

Q. You said that was an emotional match for you. Do you feel like you played better on emotion?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I did, yes. I was able to sustain that emotion and was able to deal with it in the best way. I think the crowd was very important today, encouraging me and giving me their energy from start to finish.

They were a big role on today's success and overcoming the difficult obstacles that was presented to me throughout the entirety of the match.

Q. How much did Taylor's heavy ball-striking ability sort of hamper your own game that you were trying to play?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, it didn't. I knew that the game is going to be played on those terms. You know, I will have to also hit consistently and hard and not back down and find kind of a different game style, because it's hard courts. Balls are moving really fast. Hard hitting can be very beneficial.

So I tried to stay a little bit more back and take more time and get into the court later, few things like this that worked out eventually. I think, as I said, it was all about making him work on his service games and not letting him stroll through easily.

Q. What have been the most challenging part of not having a proper offseason to prepare for this year? Have you surprised yourself at all with how you have handled things, how your elbow has handled things?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I haven't really been thinking of too much, honestly. I was too concentrated on getting back to 100% again after my elbow surgery. I honestly don't know what I was thinking. I knew that Australia was coming soon and I would have to be playing again very soon.

I missed two weeks of preseason, which was not too bad, because the doctor predicted otherwise. My recovery was faster than anyone would have thought it would have been. My recovery was very surprising to my doctor.

Q. On the surface of things, it appears that you're in a very good position. Your past references at AO are very good. Your rapport with the audience is excellent. Physically you seem quite fit, no physical issues in that sense. You survived such a match. Would you say this could be the year that the Norman Brookes trophy could end up in your hands?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, so far I have been doing what I do best, fight in every single match and give my soul out there. I don't like making any predictions, and I usually get them wrong, simply because I'm too concentrated on what I am doing and not so much on others.

So I would predict that I'm headed towards the right direction and things look good for me so far. And, well, with the right mindset and with the right attitude and with the right development throughout the tournament, my chances are pretty good.

Q. Difficult question if you want to be diplomatic. If you have to play Sinner now, for you, what it would be the difference to play Sinner or Berrettini who have a completely different game, and everybody knows that? So which one of the two, in a way, you feel better if you have to play against? What kind of game suits you more?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I haven't played them enough to answer this question. It's not that I have a rivalry with them such as Nadal and Djokovic have. Sinner is someone that has been on the tour for less than two years. Matteo slightly longer. I have played him a few more times than I did with Jannik.

I would consider Matteo more of a heavy server than Jannik, meaning that he does generate more power and more precision with his serve and gets more free points from his serve than Jannik.

Jannik, I would consider more talented player from the baseline that looks like he's very relaxed when he's playing. Doesn't show much tension when he's out there. Pretty cold-blooded in comparison with Matteo, who looks a little bit more emotional.

I cannot answer that. They are just different players and I'm waiting to play them a bit more to answer that question. Just give me more time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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