Stefanos Tsitsipas Buoyant After ‘Miracle’ Elbow Recovery Ahead Of Indian Wells | ATP Tour

Stefanos Tsitsipas frequently catches his opponents off-guard on the court, but at the start of the 2022 season it was the turn of his medical team to be surprised.

The World No. 5 underwent elbow surgery in November, prematurely ending his 2021 season, but a rapid recovery saw the Greek back to his best in January’s Australian swing. He starred for Team Greece at the ATP Cup before powering his way to a third Australian Open semi-final.

“That was not normal, not normal at all,” said the Greek as he prepares for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week. “My doctor had planned for me to start playing the first week of the clay season. It threw him off, he did not expect it.”

Speaking at his pre-tournament press conference for the ATP Masters 1000 event, Tsitsipas reflected on how his body reacting so well to the surgery had given him a boost for the 2022 season.

“It was kind of a miracle in a way,” Tsitsipas said. “The fact I was able to go deep at the Australian Open was the best thing that has happened in my career so far [in terms of] a comeback, after such a difficult injury which I suffered with for many years.”

Tsitsipas seeks to build on his quarter-final run in Indian Wells in 2021, the first time he had made it past the second round in the California desert. The fifth seed faces Juan Manuel Cerundolo or wild card Jack Sock in the second round, with World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev a potential quarter-final opponent.


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The 2021 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champion feels his body is ready to help him to more success, both this week and for the rest of the season. “[I want] to stay healthy and to stay motivated, something that I struggled with last year because of my injury,” he said. “I wasn’t able to be where I wanted to be, my body was holding me [back] from going there.

“It was very sad to feel helpless in a way. I felt weak and I felt unable to reach new heights, so I want to be consistent, and feel good about myself this year.”

Another player returning from injury that Tsitsipas is keen to emulate is potential semi-final opponent Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard is unbeaten since returning in January after six months out with a foot injury. Tsitsipas is unsure on the specific secrets behind Nadal’s success this year but views the Spaniard as a strong example to follow.

“He has had a great start to the season,” said Tsitsipas. “Winning lots of matches and having great results on hard courts, week in, week out. I don’t know what his preparation was, but I read some of the statements and comments he made and it’s quite inspiring in a way.”

Tsitsipas may still be hunting his first ATP Tour singles crown of 2022 but the Greek got his hands on a trophy at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco in February, clinching the doubles title with Feliciano Lopez. He believes the experience can have an impact on his performance on the singles court.

“I don’t really get to play doubles a lot and I think it’s a very relaxing way of getting something fresh into [my] game,” Tsitsipas said. “It was quite refreshing sharing some moments with Feli on the doubles court. I just enjoyed every single moment with him, it was all about having the best time I could out there. We played some great rallies, [I] had some amazing points with him and that was really great.”

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