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January 20, 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Did you expect such a tough match today from Sebastian?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't expect anything, to be honest. I haven't seen him play much before. I knew he had a good run at the NextGen Finals in Milan.

I watched some of his videos. He seemed like an interesting player. It's always tricky facing opponents like him that haven't been on the tour much and haven't played against other opponents that you are constantly facing, so it took a while for me to adjust.

I was on the back foot a little bit, and I think once I managed to kind of read his game a little bit and get a clue what he likes to do -- sorry, I'm really cold -- things worked out pretty well.


Q. Two matches in, just wondering how you're feeling physically, and in particular, how the elbow is holding up, especially with a match like today?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I feel like I'm getting physically better in every single one of my matches. My elbow hasn't been bothering me since Sydney. I see a very good progression since then, and I'm happy to be able to play that way.

Q. Sebastian is someone who hasn't received many wild cards in his career. He's always had to qualify. When you were coming through, that was mainly the case for you, as well. Lots of qualifications, a few wild cards, but many qualifications. Just wondering what you think of the way wild cards are given out in tennis and also what you think you can learn and develop when you have to go through...

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, Sebastian has earned his way through and by playing lots of qualifying rounds and having to qualify and get wins on the main draws in order to be in the top 100, I think that's how it works. It's something that I had to go through, too, without being part of a massive federation that supported me, that hosted challenger and ATP events, I didn't have the privilege, so I had to really build my way up.

I did have a few wild cards, I think first one was in Rotterdam, with the help of my agent at the time, and I think also Richard Krajicek, which helped me a lot. At the time I was No. 1 junior, ITF junior, and he really wanted to help and give me the opportunity to play in Rotterdam where I played for the very first time a big name like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. And for me it was an amazing experience to be walking on that court and try and give it my best.

Respect for him for qualifying so many times and for also I kind of feel like we have been in a similar position. If I'm not wrong, he was ranked No. 1 too in juniors?

Q. Yeah.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: So was I. So I kind of see me in him a little bit.

Q. I'd like to know if you heard what Zverev said yesterday when he was informed that Humbert had COVID, and he said we are not tested here, and we believe that there are many more positives than maybe we know. What is your reaction to that? What do you feel about that? Do you think everyone should be tested every two, three days, even if you're playing there or not? Because strange enough, in Australia, their rules are quite strong.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yes, they are very strict. Well, it's the responsibility of each and every athlete to test themselves regularly to see whether or not they are positive, which has been the case for me. I have been trying to get a few antigen tests and rapid tests to see whether or not I'm positive, which is a responsibility that I have, it's something that I have to do in order to see if I'm 100%.

So far I have been following it from time to time, yes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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