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Five reasons why Stefanos Tsitsipas is ready to win his first AO

  • Matt Trollope

He has developed into one of the game’s most consistent players and seems to particularly thrive on our blue hard courts during the Australian summer.

Could this mean Stefanos Tsitsipas is well-positioned to win his first Australian Open title?

We look at five reasons why this might be so.

It’s a happy hunting ground

Of the four Grand Slam tournaments, Tsitsipas enjoys his best winning percentage at the Australian Open, with 21 wins from 27 matches – a success rate of 78 per cent.

TICKETS: Cheer on Stefanos Tsitsipas at AO 2024

He has reached at least the semifinal stage four times, something he’s only managed twice at Roland Garros, his next best Grand Slam tournament.

Melbourne Park was where Tsitsipas, then just 20 years old, captured global attention with his upset of Roger Federer in 2019 en route to his first Grand Slam semifinal.

He has won 16 of his past 19 Australian Open matches, and opened 2023 with a 10-match winning streak on Australian soil until losing in the AO final to Novak Djokovic.

He keeps creating opportunities

That AO final was his second appearance in a Grand Slam final, after Roland Garros in 2021.

The Greek star’s increasing experience at the pointy end of majors – he has reached seven major quarterfinals, advancing to the semifinals on six of those occasions – means he knows how it feels to play matches loaded with extra significance and weight.

MORE: Five reasons why Jessica Pegula is ready to win her first AO

Grand Slam consistency, plus big victories at the ATP Finals and the Monte Carlo Masters, have helped Tsitsipas maintain a top-10 ranking for the past four-and-a-half years – 226 consecutive weeks, to be precise.

Only Djokovic has a longer unbroken stint inside the ATP top 10.

He enjoys huge support

Tsitsipas’ unwavering presence at the top of the sport has made him a superstar in his homeland.

That popularity extends to Australia, and especially Melbourne, a city with the world’s biggest Greek-speaking community outside of Greece and Cyprus.

The result? Tsitsipas is buoyed by a swell of crowd support during his Australian Open campaigns.

Greek fans support Stefanos Tsitsipas at Rod Laver Arena during his five-set win over Jannik Sinner in the fourth round at Australian Open 2023. [Getty Images]

“I get to see all the Greek flags in the stadium cheering for me. That's the closest thing it gets to having something at home,” he explained.

“It's very helpful because I know that I am out on the court doing my job, but I also have a crowd and a bunch of people out there cheering me up and giving me their energy.

“There's no reason for me not to feel like it. I feel like everything is going my way. I feel like everything is looking very optimistic.

“The energy of the people can create a very good mental space.”

His winning serve + forehand combo

Melbourne Park’s hard courts play relatively quickly, especially in the heat of the day.

These were conditions Tsitsipas leveraged at Australian Open 2023, especially through his devastating pattern of serve + forehand.

He hit the second-most aces during the event, and that serve helped him find the forehand on his next shot 85 per cent of the time – the third-highest rate of all men in the draw.

His forehand was venomous, exceeding 130km/h and 3000 revolutions-per-minute. This combination of speed and spin put it among the top five “heaviest” forehands of the tournament.

If he can find this serve + forehand combination enough times at AO 2024, opponents will be immediately on the back foot.

He’s had a perspective shift

There was once a sense that the relentlessly ambitious Tsitsipas, who was particularly crushed by defeat early in his career, craved success almost too much.

But he sees his career differently now – a change in thinking prompted by his relationship with WTA former world No.2 Paula Badosa.

“I certainly think about it a lot, but the top isn’t everything,” he told Greek outlet Kathimerini about the dream of winning a major title and becoming world No.1.

“I was addicted to this target when I was younger and this deprived me of something.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (R) and Paula Badosa at the ATP event in Antwerp in October 2023. [Getty Images]

“This doesn’t mean that I’m not happy with what I have accomplished; I do want to improve as a player.

“But the key is finding a balance between your private life, building something with someone, and moving ahead in your career, with that person’s help.”

There are countless examples of players thriving with broader perspective on their tennis careers.

Could this also be the case for a happier and more relaxed Tsitsipas when he enters AO 2024?