He was certainly not dissatisfied with his victory in the first round, but Stefanos Tsitsipas also knows that today, in the second round of the 48th ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, his level still has to rise. Then - just like last year in Rotterdam Ahoy - the Pool Hubert Hurkacz awaits. "A dangerous boy, who has made it difficult for me in the past," said the Greek son of the gods.
Tsitispas, the current 6 in the world ranking, experienced a first round with peaks and troughs, he acknowledged after his hard-fought victory over Egor Gerasimov. "I had to fight for it, but I also felt confident, I knew there would be opportunities."
Although the standard bearer of Greek tennis is only 22 years old, he has (at his fourth participation in Rotterdam) enough experience to turn difficult games in his favor. After title favorite Daniil Medvedev has been eliminated, Tsitsipas is suddenly the highest-placed player in Rotterdam. The Greek, who made his wildcard debut at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in 2017 as the number 205 in the world, is no longer surprised.
Just as he is not surprised by the different circumstances in which the tennis players have to play these months. At the Australian Open, the public was welcome at first, later not, and then suddenly Rotterdam Ahoy follows in which Tsitsipas and his colleagues suddenly have to act in a bubble behind closed doors. "I find it difficult to say anything about that," said Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open. "But I think we should embrace the current conditions. Of course it is a loss for everyone - for the fans and for us as players - that there cannot be an audience here in Rotterdam. At the same time, we have to act like personalities, and we just have to deal with the circumstances as they exist. "
And, Tsitsipas pointed out, he still realizes that he has nothing to complain about, that he has a good life. "I always expect a lot from myself, during competitions and during training. But I really love this life. Of course you have to work incredibly hard, but that is inherent to this profession. As Andre Agassi once beautifully said:" The one who don't work hard, it doesn't deserve to win. "And I'd like to add: it's not enough just to work hard, if you just train really hard. You also have to work smart: focus on the things that matter. Dan you can make a difference. ''
Tsitsipas wants to make that difference on a different front this year. He previously announced that he wants to double on the tour with his younger brother Petros more often this year. In Rotterdam, Tsitsipas explained this further. "The initiative to start doubling came from me, it was my decision. I think it is important to support my brother, not only to focus on myself."
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