Stefanos Tsitsipas retrives a ball
World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas’s coach and father Apostolos Tsitsipas recently spoke to the ATP about the hardships of traveling for tournaments in the COVID-19 era. He also spoke about dealing with stress and expectations and how important it is for the Greek to have hobbies as he makes his way on the tour.
Tsitsipas, who recently underwent an elbow procedure, is all set to kick off his 2022 ATP Cup campaign for Team Greece. The 23-year-old compiled an impressive 55-19 win-loss record on the tour in 2021, the highlights of which include winning his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title at Monte Carlo and reaching his first Major final at Roland Garros.
However, due to the pandemic, there were long phases during which he could not see his family and was isolated from a normal social life. In that context, Apostolos Tistsipas shared how tough it was for his son to motivate himself amidst all the restrictions in 2021.
“It was a distance between family. I was at tournaments with him, nobody could come there and visit us. It was not easy, a lot of restrictions and for sure, had an [mental] impact,” Apostolos said.
Apostolos added that while he was an important figure for Tsitsipas’s growth, he was ready to take a step back and let his son be independent.
“I know Stefanos, he loves his family, and deep inside him, he wants to make the right decisions. He’s making the right choices. I’m not worried about me, I would always be around whether he feels like I need to be his coach or I need to be his father,” Apostolos said.
Tsitsipas’s father also said that his son being responsible was a weight off his mind.
“I feel he wants to explore himself, I think he can take much more responsibilities now. And I also can overcome difficulties easier, I can deal with my emotions and feelings about him much easier.”
“He [Stefanos Tsitsipas] has to step out of the court more and explore” – Apostolos Tsitsipas
During the interaction, Apostolos also spoke about Stefanos Tsitsipas’s hobbies, which include traveling to different countries and vlogging his experiences. Tsitsipas’s father believes his son finds traveling an avenue to recharge his batteries, since life on the ATP tour can be extremely laborious.
“I think he has created this hobby because this is exactly what he wanted. For the traveling, he found it to be an interesting thing. It really has an effect on his personality, on his character, it’s what he loves. He actually needs it, it’s like, gives him energy. He has to step outside the court more and explore. Tennis and all that is not that easy,” Apostolos Tsitsipas said.”At his level, it can be very stressful. The tour is very tough and long. I think players need these types of escapes, discover themselves. There are two kinds of self-therapy. By traveling he can isolate himself, and he can deal with it himself.”
Apostolos also spoke about Tsitsipas’s experience of representing his country at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“Always when you’re representing your country, it is special. I think he felt like that, he told me it was a “great feeling”. Maybe the Olympics was not how it was supposed to be with the fans, but it was still the atmosphere was good,” Apostolos said.
Tennis – Olympics: Day 5
With his first-round win over Germany’s Phillip Kohlschreiber, Tsitsipas became the first Greek man to win a singles match at the Olympic Games since Augustos Zerlandis in 1924 .
The Greek, however, had an unceremonious end to his Olympic campaign as he was upset by France’s Ugo Humbert in the third round.