Stefanos Tsitsipas has declared that he was “addicted” to improving and reaching the top in tennis earlier in his career and feels this “deprived” him of something.
The Greek explained that while “it’s definitely something I think about a lot”, it is no longer “everything” and spoke of the importance of finding “balance” in his life.
The world No 5 won his first 10 matches of the year and was a runner-up at the Australian Open in January, losing to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. He has not looked at his best since, though, and has endured a disappointing recent run of results.
Since winning his first ATP title in 14 months with his victory at the ATP 250 event in Los Cabos last month, Tsitsipas has won just three matches across three tournaments and a Davis Cup tie.
The 25-year-old lost his opening match in Toronto and his second match in Cincinnati before being upset by qualifier Dominik Stricker in the second round of the US Open. He then lost to world No 113 Alex Molcan, having beaten Lukas Klein, as Greece were beaten at home by Slovakia in the Davis Cup World Group I.
In an interview with Greek publication Kathimerini, Tsitsipas discussed his desire to reach the top of the sport and how this has changed from earlier in his career.
“It’s definitely something I think about a lot, but it’s not everything. I was addicted to it when I was young – and it deprived me of something,” admitted the world No 5.
“That doesn’t mean I’m happy with what I’ve achieved. I want to improve as a player. But the key for me is balance, between personal life, building something with someone, and moving forward in your career, with the help of that person.”
The two-time major finalist also addressed how the landscape has shifted from him being among a group of the brightest young ATP stars.
“There was a gap, roughly between 2018-20, before [Carlos] Alcaraz, [Jannik] Sinner and [Holger] Rune. Then, all the lights were on me, [Alexander] Zverev, Dominic Thiem. Now the scene has changed. We’re not so young anymore,” assessed Tsitsipas.
“[Young players] have tremendous energy and thirst and zero fear. They play freely, they don’t think about anything,”
The Greek also touched on the challenges that come with being a touring tennis pro and the effect travel can have on players.
“The fact that I sleep in a different bed almost every seven days. New city, new hotel, having to overcome jet lag, start training before the tournament. Doing this 32-34 weeks a year takes a big toll on the body and the mind,” said the 25-year-old.
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