Stefanos Tsitsipas is keen to ‘step it up’ after Andrey Rublev defeat

Andrey Rublev shocked the Greek sensation Tsitsipas with a 6-4, 6-4 victory to start his Nitto ATP Finals campaign.

Stefanos Tsitsipas in a file photo. (Credit: Twitter/@atptour)

Stefanos Tsitsipas is eager to play “better tennis” after losing his opening match at the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday. Andrey Rublev shocked the Greek sensation with a 6-4, 6-4 victory to start his ATP Finals campaign. Despite falling to 0-1 in Green Group action, the 2019 champion is keen to get back on the court and turn his week around. “I am excited. I still want to play good tennis,” Tsitsipas said after the match. “Despite the loss today I feel I will get more chances. I want to step it up and play better tennis next time.”

Despite losing the opener, Tsitsipas very much has a chance to bounce back in time to give himself a shot at reaching the semi-finals. For that to happen, the three-time Nitto ATP Finals competitor will need to get back on track against tournament debutant Casper Ruud on Wednesday. “I know how the format and how everything works. I am pretty experienced here having played the event three times before,” Tsitsipas said. 

“The feeling of playing here never gets old. I am still as excited as I was the very first time. It is a format that most players are not familiar with because we don’t get to play it very often with round-robin rules and sets can be important. I like it because it gives me chances and I can improve and get better match by match.”

“I could have played better, but Andrey played really well. He served the best I have ever seen him serve. I think in the first set he made something like 22 consecutive first serves. Maybe the stats are different, but that is the feeling I have, so he was pretty good on his side.”

Andrey Rublev: I’m happy with everything I did on court

Andrey Rublev was understandably happy with the way he played in the emphatic 6-4, 6-4 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Nitto ATP Finals. This time, Rublev produced one of the best serving performances of his career, winning 90 percent of points behind his first serve (36/40).

When asked whether he had ever produced such a consistent match on serve, Rublev replied, “I think it was the first time ever. I don’t know what to say because it was the first time ever and I’m happy with everything I did today on court. From serve, return, rallies from the baseline to my mental part, how I controlled my emotions today. So we’ll see if I can keep going this way.”

“It’s already set I’m going to play Novak and there is not much to say. He is one of the greatest players in history, so I don’t know even what to say. I hope I’m going to win a couple of games, but the reality is the only thing I can do is believe in myself and do my best.”

Rublev on falling asleep hours before the match

Rublev also opened up about how he fell asleep hours before the match against the Greek player. “It’s true, because my match was at 9pm, so during the day I had a lot of time, so I decided to sleep,” Rublev explained. “Normally I don’t sleep at all during the day or even if I try to sleep I never fall asleep, but today I fell asleep for more than one hour.

“I set an alarm for 6pm and when I woke up, it was already so dark, and I felt completely broken, like if someone wake you up at 7am. And I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to wake up now, I’m going to sleep for another half an hour.’ Because normally in the morning I set many alarms, like this I can sleep longer, at least mentally I think this.

“I felt strange, firstly I always put my phones on to charge and now they were not charging. I was thinking, something strange is going on. Normally at night I would charge them. Then I look at the time, 6pm. What is this? 6pm? How is possible? Did my phone get maybe a bit broken or something? And then I started to realise, ‘Oof, I fell asleep during the day. Oof, I have a match in couple of hours, so I need to wake up.’”

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