With the current format of the Davis Cup allowing players from outside the Asia-Oceania region to compete against our country’s best, it is a privilege that the tennis got to see a world-ranked player right in front of their eyes.
For that player, Stefanos Tsitsipas, such success reaped its benefits in his homeland Greece for his sport.
“Tennis is becoming more of a popular sport in Greece,” the world number 6 singles player shared. “With my success and the success of Maria Sakkari — we both have helped a lot. People are becoming more aware of what is happening with our careers, and they follow. They watch and stay up late for our matches.
“So I would probably say it stands in Top five right now, and there are many kids in schools and playing tennis after school. So, the tennis clubs are quite full of kids wanting to become Tsitsipas or Sakkari; and my success, I think, is in every country with great athletes or scoring athletes, like you have guys have a basketball team and Manny Pacquiao. I think people will get inspired and want to do the same. That’s the same case in Greece.”
Tsitsipas shared that his journey has been far from easy, but he was fortunate enough to find the right people to achieve what he has today.
“I was lucky enough to be approached by Patrick Moratoglou when I was fourteen to fifteen years old. I think most of my success has come from being part of the Moratoglou Tennis Academy. It has helped me so much growing as a tennis player and seeing tennis with another perspective. It’s really difficult to go up to professional tennis and stay in Greece,” the 21-year-old said.
“It can be achieved, it can be possible, but it could be two to three times more difficult for someone to develop and pursue a career living in Greece.”
Having played against and having watched the Filipino tennis players the past two days in their Davis Cup tie, the 2019 Australian Open semifinalist believes that with the right amount of training and support, our countrymen can also be successful someday.
The Greek tennis star said, “Well, they’re trying for sure. I don’t know if they’re practicing here or also abroad. I personally believe anyone can. They play well. They can read the ball. Mentally, I think, is where they need to improve.”
“They could always get better. I could give them advice,” Tsitsipas continued.
“The team was really good three hours ago when I saw them play. They really know how to play doubles. Their singles players, they could improve a lot, I think, be more consistent, less mistakes. But take note of those mental and have more practice every single day, kind of repetition, do the same thing,” he opined.
“They could always do better, I believe.”