World No 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas says his claim of being 'really close' to winning a Grand Slam was too big a statement
The 21-year-old Tsitsipas is ranked number six in the world and had announced he was “really close” to being crowned a Grand Slam champion after his triumph in the ATP Finals last year
Stefanos Tsitsipas set himself the target of claiming a Grand Slam title in 2020 after winning last year’s season-ending ATP Finals but the young Greek feels that in hindsight the statement was “too big” and burdened him with extra pressure.
Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have shared all the Grand Slams between them since Swiss Stan Wawrinka triumphed at the 2016 US Open and Tsitsipas has been marked as one of the few players capable of breaking that stranglehold.
The 21-year-old is ranked number six in the world and had announced he was “really close” to being crowned a Grand Slam champion after his triumph in the ATP Finals, which is contested by the top eight singles players and doubles teams.
“Looking back to that I think this was too big of a statement to be taken seriously. I shouldn’t be looking so far so soon,” Tsitsipas was quoted as saying by the Tennis Majors website.
“For sure, I want it to come, but I should be talking about stuff like this less often and concentrate on the present.
“I guess I just put too much pressure on myself, aiming so high and I just have to take it step by step, not think too much about the future and be irrational,” he added.
Tsitsipas has made some giant strides in his young career and reached the Australian Open semi-finals and the fourth round of the French Open in 2019.
The Greek, who has been tipped by Djokovic as a future world number one, said he would have to learn to wait for his chance.
“I say it every single time like it’s the only thing I want to achieve in my life,” he said. “For sure it is."
“My theory behind it is that if you think about it too much it might as well never happen, so just relax and enjoy the process.”
Federer hasn't won a tour clay title since Istanbul in 2015; his most recent Masters triumph on the surface was Madrid in 2012.
Last year's French Open was delayed by four months and held in September and October instead of its longstanding May-June slot.
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