Who is Stefanos Tsitsipas?
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a Greek professional tennis player who currently holds the No.1 ranking in Greece and previously ranked No.1 in the world among junior players. His current No.44 world ranking also makes him the second youngest player on the 'ATP Top 100' list. He is also the only Greek player to make into the list, as well as the best Greek male tennis player in the Open Era. He reached the finals of the prestigious junior tennis tournament, Orange Bowl, for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, he won the Trofeo Bonfiglio, a 'Grade A' event in Milan, Italy, which is also known as the International Junior Championships. Also in 2016, he won the Boys' Doubles at the Junior Wimbledon Championships in London, along with Kenneth Raisma, which made him the second male Greek tennis player to win a Grand Slam title at any division, after Nicky Kalogeropoulos in 1963, and the first one in the Open Era. At the Barcelona Open in 2018, he reached his first ATP final without dropping a set, but lost to his idol, world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the final.
Rise to Stardom
When he was only three years old, Stefanos Tsitsipas began playing tennis with his parents who worked as coaches at a summer resort in Greece. He trained under his father, a travelling coach, and his mother, a former pro-tennis player and a coach. He began his junior career in 2013, at the age of 15.
In 2014, he reached the final of Orange Bowl, a prestigious junior tennis tournament, even though he lost to Stefan Kozlov in the final. He repeated his success in 2015 as well, again reaching the final of Orange Bowl, but he failed to secure the title this time as well, losing to Miomir Kecmanović. He later moved from his hometown near Athens to train in Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France, and saw a big change in his game in 2016, which became a turning point in his career. He won the 'Grade A' event, Trofeo Bonfiglio, in Milan, Italy, his first significant trophy, followed by the Boys' Doubles win at the Junior Wimbledon Championships in London, partnering with Kenneth Raisma.
Riding on his success, he reached the number 1 rank amongst world junior tennis players that year. In 2017, he made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open and went on to qualify for the main draw by defeating Thomas Fabbiano, Gleb Sakharov and Oscar Otte, but lost to Ivo Karlovic in straight sets.
In 2017, he also reached the main draw at Wimbledon by beating Santiago Giraldo, Yannick Hanfmann and Joris De Loore, but once again lost in straight sets, this time to Dušan Lajović. He also qualified for the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals as an alternate. However, he gained worldwide attention in April 2018 after he reached his first career ATP final at the Barcelona Open by defeating four top-ten seeds, including third seed and clay court specialist Dominic Thiem, to face world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the final.
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Stefanos Tsitsipas was born on August 12, 1998 in Athens, Greece to a Greek father, Apostolos Tsitsipas, and a Russian mother, Yuliya Salnikova-Tsitsipas. His mother was a top USSR pro-tennis player in the 1980s and later became a coach, while his maternal grandfather, Sergei Salnikov, was a Soviet football player and manager. His father is a former tennis player who is working as a professional travelling coach since 1991. He has a sister named Elisavet and two brothers, Petros and Pavlos, all of whom play competitive tennis.
Apart from tennis, he likes to play football, table tennis, video games, and spends spare time swimming, watching movies and hanging out with friends. If he had not been a pro-tennis player, his next choice was to become a professional footballer.