Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Serbian Novak Djokovic pose before their last men’s tennis match on day 15 of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris on June 13, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)
Stefanos Tsitsipas hailed Novak Djokovic as “one of the greatest tennis players tennis has seen” ahead of the Serbian’s assault on a sixth Wimbledon title and a record 20th Grand Slam crown.
World number four Tsitsipas appreciated and then endured a close-up view of Djokovic’s powers when he gave up a two-set lead to lose the Roland Garros final two weeks ago.
The victory in Paris saw Djokovic become the first man in more than half a century to win all four majors twice.
Now, with the 2021 Australian and French Open titles under his belt, he’s halfway to becoming just the third man, and the first since Rod Laver in 1969, to complete a Grand Slam calendar.
“He’s a complete player. He has the potential to do it, ”Tsitsipas said on Sunday.
“Obviously, we’re here to try to put an end to his dream. It’ll be hard.
“Personally, I find it very difficult to play against him. I think he’s one of the greatest players tennis has seen. “
Tsitsipas is considered a pending Wimbledon champion if Djokovic and eight-time winner Roger Federer falter.
However, his turf record remains poor although this can be attributed to a lack of exposure more than to particular weaknesses in his game.
So far, the 22-year-old has played just 15 turf games with an 8-7 winning-loss record.
In comparison, Djokovic at 95-18 and his compatriot Federer at 188-28.
Tsitsipas, the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final, reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2018 but lost to Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano in the first round 12 months later.
Wimbledon was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
“I didn’t really have a plan B or a plan C. I just had a way of playing. It was also because of the lack of experience, of not being on the tour long enough, ”he said, remembering his loss in five sets against Fabbiano, 89th.
“I was disappointed. I was also unhappy this time of year.
“I can tell you that right now I feel happy every day.”
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