Victory is Swede as Tsitsipas conquers his maiden ATP title in Stockholm
Somewhere in Stockholm, Stefanos became an ATP World Tour champion yesterday.
A long-time fan of Avicii, he dedicated his title to the world-famous Swedish DJ, who passed away earlier this year.
Jag har dedikerat min första ATP- titel till Avicii som inspirerat mig med sin musik. En person som fick mig att drömma om saker, en person med en kreativ inställning och en person som jag alltid kommer att minnas.— Stefanos Tsitsipas (@StefTsitsipas) 22 October 2018
Tsitsipas played a seamless symphony in his own right, dismissing accomplished players (Philipp Kohlschreiber, Fabio Fognini, Ernests Gulbis) in straight sets en route to his maiden crown.
It was his third ATP final of the year, the first against a player not named Rafael Nadal, and one could feel both factors — the change in opponent and the experience he had gained from his previous two losses — were liberating him.
"I was actually much more confident this time. I knew that if I executed my game plan and stayed focused and calm and not get angry with myself over anything, I was pretty sure I was going to make it and as I said, I felt great on the court from the beginning until today, to the final,” Tsitsipas said.
Despite a 6-0 record in ATP finals, Gulbis — who had enjoyed a remarkable run coming from the qualifying draw — looked the less composed player of the two.
Tsitsipas broke Gulbis at 5-4 to grab the first set, and repeated the feat in the second set to cross the finish line.
When the Latvian missed a last forehand, Tsitsipas' racket flew — and so did emotions.
A moment @StefTsitsipas won’t forget in a hurry!— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 21 October 2018
The rising star claims the first @atpworldtour title of his career by beating Ernests Gulbis in the @IntrumSthlmOpen final
Tsitsipas created history as no Greek male player had ever won a tour-level title before.
"Of course I feel happy because I'm the first Greek [to win a title]. Hopefully many Greek players can achieve something like this. I would be super happy to see them achieve something like this in the future, maybe even in the near future... Representing my country at such high-level tournaments, being the first Greek to crack the Top 100 is very, very special for me.”
One would imagine it is hard for Tsitsipas to keep his feet on the ground after enjoying such a breakthrough year, from beating four consecutive top 10 players in Toronto to clinching his first title in Stockholm — but the Team Mouratoglou player hasn’t forgotten where he comes from.
“A big part of my development and my improvement has been at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, with my coach and my fitness coach [at the academy],” he said in an interview to the ATP World Tour website. (lien)
Patrick Mouratoglou hasn’t forgotten either. Right after Tsitsipas’ win, he posted a heartfelt message on Instagram, illustrated with a picture of Tsitsipas competing in the 2014 Orange Bowl, acknowledging the whole team surrounding Tsitsipas — Apostolos Tsitsipas, Kerei Abakar, Frédéric Lefebvre and Jérome Bianchi — for his success.
Patrick also recalled how he sensed Tsitsipas’ potential while randomly watching videos on YouTube.
I discovered this young greek player in 2014 watching videos of him on YouTube and thought he was amazing. Afterwards he came to @mouratoglou_tennis_academy where he found his training base and his Team. @stefanostsitsipas98 I am so proud of what you are achieving ! And your Team deserves also congrats: Apostolos, Kerei, Fred, Jérôme ! #TeamMouratoglou
Four years later, Tsitsipas is all over the “trending" section.
It was written in the stars. ???? • @stefanostsitsipas98 holds off Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 6-4 to claim his FIRST @atpworldtour title in Stockholm! ???? • • • #MouratoglouTennisAcademy #Mouratoglou #TennisAcademy #Tsitsipas #StefanosTsitsipas #Gulbis #ErnestsGulbis #Stockholm #SthlmOpen #TennisLove #TennisLife #TennisDay #TennisTime #TennisPlayer #TennisWorld #TennisLover #Tennis #InstaTennis #Sports #InstaSports #????
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