Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals for the fifth consecutive year when he takes to court in his opening round-robin match against Jannik Sinner. The Greek views the prestigious year-end event as a season highlight.
“I do believe that the [Nitto] ATP Finals come extremely close to a Slam experience,” Tsitsipas told ATP Media on Friday. “A Grand Slam you get to play even if you’re No.200 in the World, but not many people can say that they’ve played the Nitto ATP Finals, so for me, it has a significant importance. And it carries a lot of legacy and a lot of history with it. To be playing in such an event, very few people can brag about.”
Tsitsipas triumphed on debut at the tournament in 2019 when it was held in London. He has since won six tour-level titles, including two ATP Masters 1000 crowns (Monte-Carlo 2021, 22). The 25-year-old believes he has developed on and off the court since his crowning moment at the year-end event four years ago.
“I do have the mental calmness of a veteran and I feel that changing,” Tsitsipas said. “I felt this big change this year. I’m starting to feel and think different. This morning, I was actually reflecting on how much I have personally changed in my personality in the way also that I think about life and tennis on its own. I don’t know, whether that’s maturing or getting at a certain age where your perspective kind of changes but it has definitely been different for me for the past few months.”
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Tsitsipas holds a 51-22 record on the year and lines up in Green Group alongside Sinner, Novak Djokovic and Holger Rune. The Greek will open his campaign against Sinner and is ready for a tough battle despite leading the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series 5-2.
“He tends to play very fearless tennis and he moves very well,” Tsitsipas said. “He has improved his movement a lot and his consistency in his shots. I do believe that he’s a very athletic player. Not very muscley, not very heavy. He has that lightness about him when he covers the court. He can kind of get anywhere in the court within a few seconds and his reaction is very good. He has very good abilities and talent when it comes to feeling the ball and getting behind it.”
Tsitsipas will also face World No. 1 Djokovic in the round-robin stage. The Serbian, who is a six-time champion at the event, leads Tsitsipas 11-2 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series.
“Novak has a very big presence when you’re facing him and you can certainly feel it’s tough to avoid that presence,” Tsitsipas said. “He has very good body language and his mental state and clarity when he plays is something you can really see that he’s very focused in the task and in the goal that he carries with him.
“This is something rare in tennis and there aren’t a lot of players that you can actually say that about them. He definitely has that intensified in his game. And that is something that I have absorbed and felt when playing him.”