Stefanos Tsitsipas is the highest-ranked Greek player in tennis history, reaching a career-best number 3 just before his 23rd birthday in 2021, 20 years after taking his first steps on a tennis court and being coached by his father Apostolos in Athens .
Tsitsipas’ mother, Julia Apostoli, was also a superb player and, like Stefanos, ranked number one junior in the world, so it came as no surprise that this outstanding next-generation superstar, dubbed the Greek God, found rapid success.
Competing in his third Laver Cup, Tsitsipas has won five points for Team Europe, is undefeated in singles and successfully paired with Andrey Rublev at TD Garden in Boston last year.
When Tsitsipas first joined Team Europe in Geneva in 2019, he said it was a lifetime dream to share the spot with his idols Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
His inclusion in the London team was “like being part of the Chicago Bulls in the golden era”.
“I’m very honored to be part of this team, I think this team is the most legendary team the Laver Cup has ever had,” he says. “I feel very privileged to be part of this squad, part of this group of legends, and to learn as much as I can from them.”
How it is going
Since winning the 2019 year-end ATP Finals at the age of 18, Tsitsipas has cemented his place in the top 10 and held his own in many of the tour’s biggest tournaments in 2022.
The year started with another strong performance at Melbourne Park, where the Greek defeated Team World rival Taylor Fritz in a five-set marathon of the third round of the Australian Open.
He continued in the quarterfinals with a textbook three-set win over Italy’s Jannik Sinner before falling to second-seeded Daniil Medvedev in the semis. Tsitsipas’ prowess on hard courts continued in Rotterdam, where he finished second behind another Team World opponent, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and in Acapulco he was stopped by Cameron Norrie in the semifinals.
From April, Tsitsipas made his move on clay and successfully defended the ATP 1000 Masters crown in Monte Carlo, where he lost just one set (to Diego Schwartzman) in the quarterfinals en route to his seventh career title.
He maintained his form at Barcelona, was prevented from progressing beyond the last eight by the unstoppable Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and reached the last four in Madrid, where former Laver Cup teammate Alexander Zverev lay in wait. The German beat Stefanos in Spain but the Greek improved his overall head-to-head to 8-4 against Zverev when they met in the Rome Masters semifinals.
Tsitsipas finished second behind Novak Djokovic in Rome and at Roland Garros, where he had reached his maiden Grand Slam singles final in 2021, he fought hard to reach the round of 16, then quickly adapted to lawn tennis and clinched a ninth-place ATP Tour singles title in Mallorca.
Tsitsipas faced well-known rival Nick Kyrgios in the third round at Wimbledon, whose high-level match was won by the Australian in four grueling sets. The Greek bounced back at the Cincinnati Masters, where he upset world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals.
About playing the Laver Cup
Tsitsipas expresses great confidence in Team Europe. “I think we’ve achieved great things,” he says. “Having so many Grand Slam champions on a single team gives us great opportunities to pull off some big wins and fight against both the youngsters and the older dogs of Team World.”
He’s also looking forward to returning to The O2, the scene of a notable ATP Finals breakthrough.
“I’ll come back with great memories in mind, I think it’s a great goal for tennis and this court is the perfect place to have a fight like that.”
He believes Team Europe’s composure got them through some tough moments in four editions of the Laver Cup competition.
“Our fighting spirit makes a big difference. We are born fighters, we hate to lose and give our all on the pitch.”