Stefanos Tsitsipas revealed he was proud of how he handled his emotions in an ‘exhausting’ semi-final clash at Roland Garros on Friday, which saw the Greek defeat Alexander Zverev to reach his first Grand Slam final.
The fifth seed, who won 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, will now play either 13-time champion Rafael Nadal or top seed Novak Djokovic on Sunday.
“It means a lot. It was a difficult match. It was a match full of emotions, full of so many different phases that I went through. So, in the end, it was just such a big relief I was able to close it in such a good way. It was just exhausting,” Tsitsipas admitted. “It was difficult to handle all of these things and put them together, kind of compromise on some others. I was able to deliver and close the match when I had to. I’m proud of myself.”
Tsitsipas had led by two sets before Zverev levelled up the match to force a decider. This resulted in the Greek, who has reached the semi-finals twice at the Australian Open (2019, 2021), refocusing again, as he saved three break points from 0/40 at the start of the fifth. Tsitsipas believed this was a crucial moment in the clash.
“I was trying to be in a good relationship with myself and get encouraged and push forward for something good to happen. I knew I was not done at that point, I had more to give. I was playing much better. All I had to do was put in the concentration,” Tsitsipas said.
“I’m someone who fights. I was not willing to give up yet. I think I did few things right that worked in my favour. I was still alive. I was still able to come back to the match. It was a breath of fresh air, that first game. I felt revitalized,” Tsitsipas admitted.
The 22-year-old has now recorded a Tour-leading 39 wins this year and is excited to be in Sunday’s final at a tournament which means a great deal to him.
Tsitsipas said: “Roland Garros has been a historical tournament. It has been an event that I’ve been watching since I was little. It has been my coach’s favourite tournament. I grew up with him. It’s a tournament that we always followed, we always watched. I was mostly being emotional for putting myself in that position. I was kind of being emotional for him. He’s back in Greece now, in Athens. I’m pretty sure he’s very proud of me so far.
“I’m looking forward to leaving my entire body on the court in the final. It’s time for me to show that I’m capable of playing either Nadal or Djokovic, who has also done well a few times here. I’m looking forward to bring my game to kind of challenge myself to step it up.”