Stefanos Tsitsipas‘ right elbow was put through its most challenging test since surgery in November, as he came out of a grueling three-set loss to Diego Schwartzman at the ATP Cup in Sydney. Despite losing the match, he was satisfied with his development and was happy to participate in the match. The World No.4 had to fight hard for two hours and 43 minutes, firing around 120 serves, double the number he has typically been hitting in practice. The Greek star spoke about the difficulties he encountered when serving in the match during a press conference, and he is concerned about how his arm might feel in the morning.
“It was good to see myself perform at such a level. I didn’t expect it,” said Tsitsipas, who withdrew from last year’s Nitto ATP Finals after playing just one match. “It worked out better than I thought. I was able to hit balls that I was scared to hit two weeks ago, so I’m heading towards the right direction. It was a very close match, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it despite losing again. I enjoyed fighting. I enjoyed the thrill of it. I enjoyed the atmosphere that the people created.”
On Saturday, Tsitsipas pulled out of his first ATP Cup singles match owing to arm problems but returned later in the day to play doubles. After his 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 loss to Schwartzman, he is curious to see how his arm will feel on Tuesday. Despite being eliminated from semifinal contention with Monday’s defeat to Argentina, Greece has one more match at the ATP Cup on Wednesday.
“I’m in a little bit of pain. That’s normal. I served more serves than I have ever served in the last month,” Tsitsipas said. “I have been practising, trying to get 50, 60 serves in, and today I really went far. I was fatiguing in the end. I tried to avoid the pain but I got to finish the match somehow.
“I’d love to play [my next ATP Cup match], but I really don’t know how I’m going to feel tomorrow. That was one of the biggest concerns if I’m going to play this match today, how is the recovery going to be tomorrow, which was the issue with the doubles. I finished the doubles but the next day I couldn’t serve. I was unable. I was in a lot of pain. So I’m really hoping to be able to walk on court tomorrow and practise some serves without pain. That’s my biggest goal right now, to have 100 per cent recovery on my elbow.”