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May 9, 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Roma, Italia

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Stefanos.

Q. How are you feeling about your game on clay? Obviously great start in Monte-Carlo. How are you feeling about it at this point in the clay swing?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Feeling good. It was a bit challenging playing on altitude. I won't lie. Not just for me but for most players. Coming back to sea level tennis, I feel more familiar with it.

So far my feedback is good. Really looking forward on starting fresh in Rome and seeing where that can lead me.

Q. Is it easier to win twice Monte-Carlo or to win once Rome? Also, what is the difference in terms of clay? Madrid, of course, is different because of the altitude. But between Monte-Carlo and Rome, what is the major difference in terms of courts and everything else?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think it's quite similar. I haven't had the privilege to win Rome, but I can only answer that once I'm there. I really don't know. So far I guess Rome would be the answer.

I want to say that the courts, I'd say they're similar. There isn't like major difference. I think Madrid was something that caught me a little bit off guard. The courts, it kind of seemed like it was a little bit of powder on top of the clay. I had a thing with my knee there that happened only in Madrid, has happened only in Madrid twice. It is kind of a different surface when playing in Madrid.

I still like it, to be honest. I don't mind it.

Q. I don't know how much you got to watch of Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid. Obviously you've played him before. What is impressing you most about his game this season? Seems like the one to beat.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: His tennis is very impressive. I think he puts a lot of energy into every single shot. He is quick. He has a good reaction time. He reads the game well. He inspires me a lot. I really want to be like him. I look up to him.

I know he's at a young, early stage of his career. I can see him becoming big in a very short time. I'd really like to get to the level he is right now. I think he's one of the best players in the world, to be honest. He has proved it with consistent results, thriving in the biggest tournaments. There is nothing you can take away from that.

Q. How would you describe the sort of state of the top of the men's game right now? You have the situation where Djokovic is No. 1, hasn't played a lot, Medvedev has been out for a while. You are suddenly closer to No. 1 than you have been before in terms of the math.


Q. I think so. Djokovic's total is lower, he's No. 1. Medvedev isn't playing. I don't know how much that is something you pay attention to or how you see those sort of goals?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, let's not forget that Djokovic has almost three Grand Slam titles from last year that he still has points from.

Q. Two at least.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Almost three, let's say.

For sure, I mean, he's a consistent player. I don't think he will struggle being consistent this year. He has shown that over and over again.

My competition, I've said that, my competition is with a lot of players. It's not just with two, three players. My competition in our generation, there are going to be a lot of them included in a list where it might be changing.

Hopefully I can really remain the same, consistent and focused, that I've been trying -- the way I've been trying to perform the last couple of years. Every single one of them is more challenging than the year before.

We have great players. The competition's getting really high. The demand is also getting bigger.

Q. In terms of Alcaraz, how does it feel to have the hot player in tennis be someone who is the youngest, younger than you?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Some older guys will take it very - I don't know - personal, it would strengthen your ego, let's say.

But you can see he's very hungry. He plays very fresh and hungry, like has nothing to lose. It kind of reminds me of my early days when I was introduced to the ATP Tour. I didn't really know what to expect along the way. I was just playing carelessly, completely free-spirited. It's a nice thing to see.

But, of course, with that comes a lot of responsibility and you have to be able to manage that well. I'm sure he will. I see no reason he will not.

But with him in most of the draws, the lineup is getting even tougher. I will for sure have to work harder to get the results that I ever wanted.

Q. In Madrid Zverev wasn't too happy that he went to bed at 4:00 one morning and at 5:00 the next morning before the final. Do you think something is wrong, something should be changed, maybe in terms of scheduling? It happened to him. It can happen to you one day. What should be done to avoid this conflict of program scheduling, if you have any idea, with scheduling the men and the women?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It's very clear: women should have gone to play first. They have a final to play. They should be the first ones to go and play. People are there to watch the final. I'm very sure they would like to start with that, then the rest of the matches, obviously earlier than they have planned it.

To be honest with you, I wasn't happy either. I went to bed that night almost at 3:00. That kind of destroys your rhythm and pace when you have a tournament to play in Rome next week. I had to wake up early today which doesn't make it very easy, as you can imagine.

I mean, there are many theories behind that. It's not time for me to get controversial or anything. Certain agencies and certain companies run the tournaments, so I don't want to say more.

Let's hope it's not to benefit whatever they want to benefit. Let's just hope that. I don't know. I don't have any answers on that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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