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I know most of the people can't wait for the tomorrow terrific blockbuster between Nadal and Djokovic but I thought there was someone who deserved a thread as a tribute to his performance on Friday.

One of the heroes of this year Roland Garros is certainly Stefanos Tsitsipas. For the first time in his career he came back from two sets down to survive the first round against Jaume Munar and after that he cruised into the semifinals without dropping a set beating Grigor Dimitrov and Andrey Rublev. It was only his second semifinal at a slam and he faced the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. At 6 - 3, 6 - 2, 5 - 4, match point Djokovic, it looked like it would be another straight sets beatdown received by the Big 3 like in his very disappointing first GS semifinal against Nadal at the 2019 Australian Open. What he did to turn it around and scare the hell out of Nole fans was epic.

It cannot be forgotten that this great performance came right after the tragic US Open for him where he embarrassed himself losing to Borna Coric in ridiculous circumstances from 2-sets-to-1 and 5 - 1 up blowing 6 match points including three in a row on his serve. It was probably the choke of the year.

So, is it the turning point in his career? Will he go one step further next year and reach a GS final? Maybe even win a slam? Is he ready for it? Or is it nigh on impossible to predict as he is as capable of pushing Djokovic all the way in the big match as finding his inner Slamrev? Discuss.
 

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It took some time for him to back up the Aus Open 2019 successes...It certainly is another block in his path but his goal now should be to continuously get to QF at least in Grand Slams. To make it kind of routine will be no easy task.
 

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Difficult to tell. Moreover, only time will tell.

With this match and last year's AO win over Fed he proved that he can live with the Big3 on the baseline, and can sustain longer periods of clutch play.

However he's also capable to choke (vs Coric at USO or vs Rublev in Hamburg) and go away mentally as in the first 2 sets of this RG semi.
Nothing is a given, if he can put these mental issues behind him and become a big match player (kinda like Thiem), then we could see him win a slam around 2022.
 

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I very much like Tsitsipas' mentality, which I feel is the best of all the future potential slam winners. He says things I haven't heard others his age say, he comes across as if he really belongs at the top and is always willing to not only do what it takes to win, but also learn from every experience. Some players stagnate but with every passing year I can see Tsitsipas getting better and better.

I love the following quote and find it very telling: "I think [he is] one of the most difficult opponents I've faced in my entire life. I have huge respect for that. He gave me a really difficult time on the court." Tsitsipas makes it sound as if he was the favourite for the match.

Here's what he said in his presser:

“For sure he has almost reached perfection, Novak, in his game style, the way he plays, which is unbelievable to see, honestly,” Tsitsipas said. “That inspires me a lot to go out and work and try to reach that perfection, that ability to have everything on the court.”

“I feel happy and at the same time sad. Could have been a better result for me today. Novak showed once again what an incredible athlete [he is] and his ability on the courts,” Tsitsipas said. “[It] was difficult, for sure, playing him. I think [he is] one of the most difficult opponents I've faced in my entire life. I have huge respect for that. He gave me a really difficult time on the court."

“I had an amazing comeback. I wish I could have figured certain things earlier... I felt like it was a total demolition… I tried things in practice and tried to implement them in the match. It was something new. I wish I wouldn't have tried these things and tried to stay to my ordinary and basic way of feeling the ball and also trying to dictate the game,” Tsitsipas said. “I think that was a huge mistake today, that I tried this for two sets in a row, then came back to my old way of doing things.

“It was a good comeback, and I think I played great tennis after that, except [in] the fifth set, [for] which I believe my body was not ready. Physically I wasn't really there.”

“It was difficult to close the match in a fighting way, in a fighting spirit. But I tried my best despite all of this,” Tsitsipas said. “I'm happy that I came back from two sets to love down and tried to stay in the match as long as possible.”

“I was still a kid, and now I'm turning more into an adult. My thinking has changed. I've matured. I've been through a lot of things. I have grown from the people around me,” Tsitsipas said. “[I have gained] a lot of experience, a lot of physical improvement, I think. Also the ability to read the game a bit better. Also, for sure, 100 per cent, [I now have the ability to] be more relaxed on the court. I saw myself in videos two, three years ago, and I've matured a lot in a way that I'm more calm and more observant on the court.”

“If I wouldn't be winning, I wouldn't be part of what I am now. I wouldn't be part of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy. I wouldn't be a celebrity in my country. No one would know me. It's all because of winning, of succeeding, managing to find ways to win matches,” Tsitsipas said. “I wouldn't make money from tennis. I don't know what I would be doing, but tennis wouldn't be part of my life. Winning has provided a lot. Of course, good ways and bad ways.

“Without winning I wouldn't have my sponsors. Without winning I wouldn't be traveling all around the world. Losing kind of keeps you in the same place, in the same spot, which is why I hate losing. Of course, I think everyone hates losing. It's weird if you don't hate losing. But I guess a loss is a very good lesson where life puts a stop at what you're doing. You can reflect on that. You can grow. You can get better. You can take that loss and turn it around, use it as a life lesson to move forward, to become a stronger person.”
 

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Should be but it seems like every time these kids have a nice run they disappear for 6 months after. And look at this Another Djoker/nadal slam final. . They still can't manage ONE slam win against Djoker/Nadal despite clear decline from their heydays. Its getting a little ridiculous at this point. Thiem was the only one to manage a slam because Nadal/Djoker weren't around
 

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Seems like he will be at the very top soon. But then again the same was thought of Medvedev last year and it hasn’t exactly paned out.
 

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I very much like Tsitsipas' mentality, which I feel is the best of all the future potential slam winners. He says things I haven't heard others his age say, he comes across as if he really belongs at the top and is always willing to not only do what it takes to win, but also learn from every experience. Some players stagnate but with every passing year I can see Tsitsipas getting better and better.

“I had an amazing comeback. I wish I could have figured certain things earlier... I felt like it was a total demolition… I tried things in practice and tried to implement them in the match. It was something new. I wish I wouldn't have tried these things and tried to stay to my ordinary and basic way of feeling the ball and also trying to dictate the game,” Tsitsipas said. “I think that was a huge mistake today, that I tried this for two sets in a row, then came back to my old way of doing things.
Interesting tidbits, but still not explaining entirely why he got broken so easily in sets 1-2.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The more I think about what Tsitsipas did on Friday the more I am impressed.
Nole lost only one match in his entire career from two sets up at the 2010 Roland Garros to Jurgen Melzer.
Since the start of 2011 Djokovic has been two sets up in 165 matches. Only twice he was taken to the fifth set. Apart from Tsitsipas the only other case was at the 2015 Roland Garros in the semis against Andy Murray. We are talking about 10 years here and the Greek did it despite Nole delivering a masterclass performance in the first two sets. I think it was the best performance of his career given the stage of the tournament, opponent and circumstances.

Yes, he had at least two such moments in his career when people thought it would be a breakthrough. His run at the Aussie Open 2019 and the victory at the WTF 2019. But it could be finally it. It's just whenever I think he is useless he does something impressive and I am now convinced he is a future grand slam champion.
 

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I very much like Tsitsipas' mentality, which I feel is the best of all the future potential slam winners. He says things I haven't heard others his age say, he comes across as if he really belongs at the top and is always willing to not only do what it takes to win, but also learn from every experience. Some players stagnate but with every passing year I can see Tsitsipas getting better and better.

I love the following quote and find it very telling: "I think [he is] one of the most difficult opponents I've faced in my entire life. I have huge respect for that. He gave me a really difficult time on the court." Tsitsipas makes it sound as if he was the favourite for the match.

Here's what he said in his presser:

“For sure he has almost reached perfection, Novak, in his game style, the way he plays, which is unbelievable to see, honestly,” Tsitsipas said. “That inspires me a lot to go out and work and try to reach that perfection, that ability to have everything on the court.”

“I feel happy and at the same time sad. Could have been a better result for me today. Novak showed once again what an incredible athlete [he is] and his ability on the courts,” Tsitsipas said. “[It] was difficult, for sure, playing him. I think [he is] one of the most difficult opponents I've faced in my entire life. I have huge respect for that. He gave me a really difficult time on the court."

“I had an amazing comeback. I wish I could have figured certain things earlier... I felt like it was a total demolition… I tried things in practice and tried to implement them in the match. It was something new. I wish I wouldn't have tried these things and tried to stay to my ordinary and basic way of feeling the ball and also trying to dictate the game,” Tsitsipas said. “I think that was a huge mistake today, that I tried this for two sets in a row, then came back to my old way of doing things.

“It was a good comeback, and I think I played great tennis after that, except [in] the fifth set, [for] which I believe my body was not ready. Physically I wasn't really there.”

“It was difficult to close the match in a fighting way, in a fighting spirit. But I tried my best despite all of this,” Tsitsipas said. “I'm happy that I came back from two sets to love down and tried to stay in the match as long as possible.”

“I was still a kid, and now I'm turning more into an adult. My thinking has changed. I've matured. I've been through a lot of things. I have grown from the people around me,” Tsitsipas said. “[I have gained] a lot of experience, a lot of physical improvement, I think. Also the ability to read the game a bit better. Also, for sure, 100 per cent, [I now have the ability to] be more relaxed on the court. I saw myself in videos two, three years ago, and I've matured a lot in a way that I'm more calm and more observant on the court.”

“If I wouldn't be winning, I wouldn't be part of what I am now. I wouldn't be part of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy. I wouldn't be a celebrity in my country. No one would know me. It's all because of winning, of succeeding, managing to find ways to win matches,” Tsitsipas said. “I wouldn't make money from tennis. I don't know what I would be doing, but tennis wouldn't be part of my life. Winning has provided a lot. Of course, good ways and bad ways.

“Without winning I wouldn't have my sponsors. Without winning I wouldn't be traveling all around the world. Losing kind of keeps you in the same place, in the same spot, which is why I hate losing. Of course, I think everyone hates losing. It's weird if you don't hate losing. But I guess a loss is a very good lesson where life puts a stop at what you're doing. You can reflect on that. You can grow. You can get better. You can take that loss and turn it around, use it as a life lesson to move forward, to become a stronger person.”
Good post. I agree with this - Stef is the best of the younger players mentally, despite the recent chokes.

He really believes he belongs at the top, I think he expects himself to beat Rafa on clay or Djokovic at the AO.


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