Stefanos Tsitsipas QF interview

Interviews

Q. Your YouTube subscribers have doubled. Is there more pressure on your next future video or your first slam semifinal?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Oh, my God. Really?

Q. Yes.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I didn't know it was going to have such an impact, what I said. I didn't check yet. Yeah, I'm not sure. I think I'm going to be more careful what I'm going to post on my next video.

I'm going to continue doing it. Doesn't change anything as a person. I am going to try to remain the same. It's nice to be having those nice results, but most importantly it's important to stay who you are, yeah, not think too much of yourself.

I'm going to continue making those videos. There is no pressure, not at all, zero percent.

Q. Have you surprised yourself with the quality of your performances and the way you've come back and produced them each time?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Can you repeat, please?

Q. Have you surprised yourself with the quality of your performances and the way you've reproduced them in each round?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: A little bit, yeah. You have a bigger picture of your opponent when he's going to come out. You think he's going to do some extraordinary things. But Roberto was playing great today. He showed some good tennis the entire week.

But at the end it's completely different of what I can picture it before going on the court, how you can imagine how your opponent is going to play.

What I realised recently, your opponent feels the exact same thing you feel. It's a pretty balanced match. The difference is who is going to press more and be more aggressive than the other.

But I did surprise a little bit myself with my performance, yeah.

Q. You were called for a coaching violation at the end of the third set.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yes.

Q. What happened there?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It wasn't a coaching violation actually. All my father/coach said, he told me to drink more, and that was it. That counted as a coaching violation. I didn't know that.

Q. Since you beat Roger, I know your family are here, but do you have any idea of what the reaction has been back home in Greece?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: No clue. Only thing I've seen is some posts, some magazine photos. I really want to know what it is back there, how it is back there.

Q. Have you had any messages of support from home?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Of course, I have a lot of messages. I have a lot of messages which I haven't replied to yet, otherwise it would take too much time.

But, yeah, people seem to care. I like that. That's a nice feeling.

Q. You said backing it up was the tough part, the win over Roger. Can you take us through how the last two days were, recovering from that match, preparing for this?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It was really tough. First night was tough to process. In the beginning was tough to fall asleep, to be honest with you. I had a pain in my toe which kept me awake. In general, I felt a bit of pain in my body and tension. Yeah, first night was tough. Slept less than six hours. Was worried about my next match, if I'm going to be able to get some good sleep the day before.

I slept pretty well the other night. Received a lot of messages, a lot of congrats from people, from celebrities back home, which I never thought they were watching tennis. Kind of felt like the whole thing has a big impact in the country, so... Yeah, lots of messages, congratulations from people, people sending me videos, photos, whatever.

Yeah, I did want to concentrate on my next match. I knew that win against Federer was important, played a huge role in my image, like who I am. But I knew that the biggest challenge was today's match, that I can prove myself once again.

Q. Can you say who the celebrities were?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I'm pretty sure you don't know them. They're Greek celebrities, they're not worldwide known.

Q. You said on the court your goal for this year was to go to the semifinals in Grand Slams.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Exactly.

Q. Why only semifinals?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: That's the first step. That's from where you start, then you move on.

Q. You're satisfied now?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I'm happy that I reached my goal. But that's like the starting point to go deeper. That's like the minimum, I would call it.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with Patrick, what he's bringing, having him in your camp.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: He does bring me a lot of confidence in my game. He actually isn't talking much, I will tell you that. But whatever he says is so right and so on point that if I do that, most of the time he's actually right and it's working.

I don't know. That's kind of a skill, I would say, from people to be so direct and so right on what they're saying one time, not talking too much here and there, making you feel confused. That's what I appreciate and admire about him.

I don't know what all the people think of him as a coach, but I think he's one of the best coaches I've ever met until now.

Q. Coming from a bald journalist, do you ever think the long hair will create problems? Even Federer cut it after a while. Sorry for the technical question.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, that's why I'm hiring a hairdresser the next week (smiling).

That's why I wear a headband, otherwise I would be in big trouble during a match. I like it. It's my trademark, it's my signature. I'm going to keep it. I'll tell you that.

Q. How, why and when did you start making your videos that you post on YouTube? Why is that something that you enjoy doing? Is it something you think can help your professional tennis life because it gives you satisfaction away from the court, puts your mind at ease?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I started last year, inspired by some other people. When I'm desperate sometimes, when I feel down, I do these videos, I actually feel better. It makes me realize that tennis is not the most important thing in life, that we all have some other talents that we don't know about. It kind of makes me more relaxed.

Kind of, I don't know, just gives me a better understanding and idea of life, film making and photography. I think there's a lot of things you can learn from that. It relaxes me. I see it as a hobby. Actually it's a good hobby because I can carry all this stuff to all these nice locations that I visit around the world, create things.

The most satisfying thing about that is creating. That's what I love about it.

Q. What is the biggest advantage to being born in such a family, your mom and dad have a connection with tennis?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Sorry?

Q. What is the biggest advantage to be born in such a family with your mom and dad having connection with tennis? Have you ever considered being a cyber celebrity instead of a tennis player?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I start with the first one.

Yeah, it's very important to have both parents involved in tennis from a very young age. I was different. I know there are some players that were traveling in the tour from a very young age with their brother, with their sister. That also helped a lot on their development. I didn't have that. I started all by myself playing tennis Europe, all the things. In the beginning I had my mom coming to the tournaments with me. Then all switched, my dad started coming.

I think it's important to have a family that's so well connected with tennis, has a good understanding of what's going on. Many parents have no clue of what they should do for their kids. I feel lucky that I have such parents that know a lot about this game.

Second question was if I feel like?

Q. A cyber Internet celebrity.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Me?

Q. Yes.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I only have like a couple of thousand followers. It's not a big deal. No, I don't feel like. I feel like I'm getting there, but not yet, not yet.

Q. How close did you ever get to moving to Australia and playing as an Australian citizen?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I mean, not really that close.

Q. That's disappointing.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: That's disappointing I guess for them, yeah. But for me, I'm proud to be Greek, representing the blue and white colours of that flag.

Q. Do you feel like you've been adopted as an Australian in this tournament? The crowd is behind you.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Do feel like that. I do feel like that, sure.

Q. You're one win away from reaching the same mark that Marcos Baghdatis did. Have you had much communication with him?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah. I asked him the other day, I sent him a message one week ago asking him if he's going to play doubles, because we were going to playing doubles here. It was all arranged. He loves quallies, but I was expecting he's going to stay to play.

Then he texted me and said that he was actually in Cyprus. I had no clue, yeah, that we're not going to play doubles. We withdrew from doubles. I actually think it's a good idea. I will actually thank him later that he left to Cyprus. I think it definitely helped than having to stay and play doubles. Waste of energy.

Q. What has he said about your performance so far?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I haven't talked to him, got in touch with him. But I'm pretty sure he's happy. We are good friends, so I want the best for him, as well. He's been playing years on the tour. I still want him to do well. I think he deserves to be playing well. He has a good game. I'm pretty sure he wants the same for me, so it's a nice connection that we have.

Q. Because we won't see you tonight, can you give us the lowdown on your potential opponents? Talk about Nadal and Tiafoe and the challenges they represent.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Nadal, I played him once, once on clay, once hard court. I felt very close of beating him in Toronto, though the score was 6-2, 7-6. I remember coming back to the locker room and promising to myself I'm going to do much better against him next time. It felt like I understood a bit better what he was doing on the court after that match, and especially on hard court.

On clay, it was a different story. I felt like I had no chance after losing in Barcelona 6-1, 6-2. I felt like he's on completely another level on clay than on hard.

It's going to be interesting. I feel all right with my game. I feel like I can do something good against him.

About Tiafoe, I've played him a couple of times. Good NextGen player. Funny guy, as well. Nice to have guys like him on the tour, entertaining, just a different personality. Yeah, I do respect Tiafoe as well. We played a good match in Milan a few months ago, the NextGen Finals. It was a good show.

If Tiafoe wins, I think it will be nice also for the NextGen campaign to have a semifinal of two NextGen players face one another in such an important tournament.

Q. I remember how much you enjoyed the camera in Perth. You see way more cameras in the hallways here. Have you had a chance to check them out, and what you think of them?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I did. I was actually staring at one for a minute before my match. I don't know if they recorded that.

Q. Yes.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: They did? Well, it's there.