In a press conference in the French Open Stefanos Tsitsipas commented on his relationship with the clay courts. The Athens native said: “I personally think that starting on clay is the best thing if you have kids. Learning tennis on clay is very good for your body, for your development.
It’s a way to learn how to slide, basically learn the basics of tennis. Then you can move to hard. That’s my personal opinion. I probably practiced, I don’t know, I might be wrong, I might not be, that might not be accurate, but I practiced since the age of 6 up to the age of 14 on clay all my life.
Probably more than Rafael Nadal (laughter). Not that I’m close to what he has achieved, but you get the idea. I have been playing there my entire life before I moved to the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy where actually I combined hard and clay together.”
“I feel a sense of freedom, knowing that if things don’t go well on my main occupation, I have an alternative. I have something else to take care of and something else to think of. So I think it helps to kind of free your mind and be a little bit more optimistic, I would say.”
Tsitsipas admitted he is not happy with the way he is training: “Sometimes I get frustrated during practice because I know that if I, like, the way, the way I will be practicing is actually going to reflect to my game when I’m on the tennis court playing my match.
So if I manage to keep the focus levels and if I manage to stay concentrated and do what I have to do the right way, then I have more chances on doing that well when I’m on the match playing the match. I know it sounds a bit strange, but that’s how I think it is.
That’s how it works for me. Sometimes I feel I’m too defensive. I’m a big guy, have big shots, and once I get into the mindset where I have to press and play at the same time safe, I think I can play really well. In practice I’m just sometimes, yeah, I get frustrated, I do stupid mistakes that I normally wouldn’t do.
Sometimes also the thing that’s missing in practice is the adrenaline and the rush you have when you’re playing on the tennis court a match. So that’s missing and sometimes that might cause this drops during the practice.”