Tsitsipas: ‘My Mentality Is Different’
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a man on a mission at this year’s Australian Open. The Greek has earned straight-sets victories in four of his five matches, while he showed fighting spirit to come through his only major test against Jannik Sinner in the fourth round.
After defeating Jiri Lehecka to reach the semi-finals on Tuesday, the third seed was asked if he has what it takes to lift his maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne. His answer was clear.
“I’m feeling great with my tennis. I don’t think I felt so good in a long time. I will definitely say yes [to winning the title],” Tsitsipas said. “I’ve said it, I’m a different player, playing different. My mentality is different. When I’m out on the court, I don’t really think of negatives, to be honest. I just go out there and play the game.”
Steely Tsitsipas Sees Off Lehecka For Australian Open Semi-Final Spot
Tsitsipas is playing for a double prize at the hard-court major. If the 24-year-old wins the trophy, he will rise to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time. With the pressure high, some would struggle both physically and mentally. However, Tsitsipas is relishing the challenge.
“There is this one sort of way of looking at tennis that you’re really exhausted after every match. Every single thing you try to do on the court takes a lot of effort. There’s this other version of tennis where you’re doing your job, but you’re enjoying it so much you don’t care if it’s exhausting or not. You’re refreshed by it every single time,” Tsitsipas said.
“I think I’m heading towards more of that lately than the other thing. I’m very happy to be out on the court. I’m very happy to be performing. I’m very happy to hit some good shots, come in. It’s just this whole dynamic that has made me very hungry and has created a lot of desire for me to be playing tennis, wanting to achieve new things.”
Competing in his fourth Australian Open semi-final, the Greek will aim to reach his maiden final in Melbourne when he plays Karen Khachanov on Friday. The 18th seed moved past Sebastian Korda earlier on Tuesday after the American was forced retire due to a wrist injury.
“It’s a match that I’m looking forward to,” said Tsitsipas, who leads Khachanov 5-0 in their ATP Head2Head series. “Of course, I’m definitely happy with the way I’ve been playing so far. I’m looking ahead for more, for better. Looking to create some magical experiences here in Australia.”