In a career-best season, which includes a maiden ATP Masters 1000 title and first Grand Slam final, World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas is well aware of what separates the great players from the very best.
At this point of the season, fine-tuning shots and fitness are only part of the equation. The Greek sees an opportunity to finish the year on a high at this week’s Rolex Paris Masters, where he is seeded third, and the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin should he channel a key mental outlook.
“I have two more [tournaments] left and I’m trying to give my last breath on the court and become more of a selfish player on the court, and unveil my killer attitude on the court,” Tsitsipas said. “You have to be this way. The best players in the world, they are very selfish and they want everything for themselves, and I’m this way too.
“When I’m on the court I’m not mixing it up with my outside life, and I’m able to separate those two. I think once you become soft and start kind of getting into your emotions and feeling many things at once … it’s not really good for you.
“So blocking all of that and letting it pass through and just being able to stay in the moment, these are some qualities that top players have developed and are able to compete at such level, not really care what’s happening on the other side of the court.”
Scouting Report: Djokovic Returns, Medvedev Defends In Paris
The Greek already added two career titles to his haul in 2021, including his maiden ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo. He comes off his second defeat of the season to Frances Tiafoe, in the round of 16 in Vienna.
The American also gained the upper hand in the opening round at Wimbledon, after Tsitsipas reached his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. Despite his early departure from the All England Club, Tsitsipas reached back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals in Toronto and Cincinnati, but suffered surprise defeats to #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz at the US Open and Nikoloz Basilashvili in Indian Wells.
Paris will be the first time the top three players in the world have contested an event since the US Open, when Daniil Medvedev brought down Novak Djokovic for his maiden Grand Slam trophy. Tsitsipas said Medvedev had developed into one of the toughest players to face on Tour.
“Daniil has really perfected the game that he’s playing that not many players can play. I mean, to call him ‘Octopus’ was for a reason. He’s just able to get balls that not many people are able to … He has done very well this year,” he said.
“We all saw what he did at the US Open … He’s one of the most difficult opponents on the Tour, and I guess I’m able to learn from him, as well.”