03:27 PM GMT February 19, 2019
It seems that the elation of beating Roger Federer, soon followed by a humbling loss to Rafael Nadal in last month’s Australian Open semi-finals, continues to weigh heavily on Stefanos Tsitsipas, who competes this week at the Open 13 Provence.
“It was a tough loss and I did a lot of thinking,” Tsitsipas told reporters on Tuesday in Marseille. “I had a lot of doubts. But I am trying to forget it and move on with my life, my career as soon as possible. Obviously, Nadal is highly respected and has done so much, but it’s been my toughest loss.”
Since leaving Melbourne, two early-round exits — in the second round of the Sofia Open (l. to Monfils) and the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament first round (l. to Dzumhur) — attest to a player adjusting to his newfound celebrity at No. 12 in the ATP Rankings and also off the court.
“It’s been tough coming from the Australian Open and not feeling fresh,” said Tsitsipas. “[They were] not the results I wanted, or expected, but it happened for a reason… It has been a bit of a challenge, there is a lot more attention than ever before. But I’ve had to, and I am learning to deal with it. I remain humble, that’s the word for it.
“I don’t want it all to end here, I hope that this is just the beginning. I really hope and I will train hard because moments like Australia make me happy, they make me train hard and the time I’m putting into my tennis. It’s nice to have the development and to see the differences from last year. The only way is up.”
In returning to the Open 13 Provence for the third consecutive year, looking for his first win in Marseille, the #NextGenATP Greek star is looking to turn over a new leaf. “I need to concentrate, stay positive and optimistic for the future,” said Tsitsipas.
“It’s been a good transition since last year. I’ve improved a lot, my game, my performances. I’ve lost twice in the first round here, so hopefully I can do well here and have good memories. I am going to work for every match and be patient. There are good players here and I will try as much as I can.”
The 20-year-old starts his campaign against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the Marseille second round. The pair met in last year's Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.