'Felt magical to be on same team as Roger Federer' - Stefanos Tsitsipas responds to Kyrgios dig
- After Kyrgios said Europe lacked genuineness, Stefanos Tsitsipas gushed about being on the same team as Roger Federer.
- Tsitsipas further said it was a dream come true to represent his continent alongside Federer and Nadal.
A few days ago Nick Kyrgios took a jibe at Team Europe in the Laver Cup - which included legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - by stating that the teammates were only pretending to care about each other. But now, Stefanos Tsitsipas has indirectly hit back at the Aussie by saying that the Laver Cup is his favorite tournament - precisely because of the positive vibes in the European team.
The 2019 squad saw Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal uniting forces with the NextGen stars Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. Fabio Fognini and Roberto Bautista Agut were also present in the team.
While speaking to Andy Murray on an Instagram live session last week, Kyrgios gave a blunt assessment of the relationship between the European players. The Aussie said that Stefanos Tsitsipas hates his teammate Alexander Zverev in reality, and that Team Europe didn't have genuine camaraderie the way Team World did.
Stefanos Tsitsipas on teaming up with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
During his recent appearance on the 'Hanging out with Babsi' Instagram live on Eurosport, Stefanos Tsitsipas gave a subtle reply to Kyrgios' claims. Here's what the Greek said about his bond with the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal:
"My favourite tournament is the Laver Cup. I love the vibes at the Laver Cup, we were all so connected, we came into the tournament as a union, trying to represent our continent and it just felt magical to be on the same team as Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal]."
Stefanos Tsitsipas mentioned that it was a dream came true to be given an opportunity to play doubles matches along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He further described how he had never imagined that a tournament like the Laver Cup would happen one day.
"As a child, I would never have dreamed the Laver Cup would ever happen – a competition between Europe and the Rest of the World – I would never think that would be possible but it happened and I got to be part of it. I got invited which was such an honour," Tsitsipas said.
The Greek even highlighted that representing his continent was an emotional high for him.
How did Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roger Federer and other Team Europe members fare in Laver Cup 2019?
Although Nick Kyrgios claimed that the members of Team World had a better bond than their rivals, Team Europe emerged victorious in the 2019 Laver Cup with a 13-11 margin. Stefanos Tsitsipas won his singles match against Taylor Fritz, and although he didn't fare too well in the doubles games (teaming up with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal), that didn't affect the final result.
Playing with Roger Federer, Tsitsipas lost to the American duo of Jack Sock and John Isner. When he teamed up with the Rafael Nadal, the Australian-American combo of Nick Kyrgios and Sock bettered them.
The European team won only one of the three doubles matches in the competition.
Stefanos Tsitsipas aiming to improve his skills in quarantine
Before ATP suspended the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stefanos Tsitsipas had played 18 matches this year and won 13 of them. He won the title in Marseille, but in Dubai fell at the last hurdle to Novak Djokovic.
Tsistipas couldn't make it past the Round of 32 at the Australian Open, and is now trying to use the break period to improve his skills. The Greek shared some details of his training schedule and said:
“I honestly don’t think about the future. I practice every day, of course I don’t put 100 per cent in but at the same time I’m planning on gradually getting better. It’s important to understand what things have been working for you in the last couple of months and what other things you can improve and get better at."
It will be intriguing to see if Stefanos Tsitsipas, currently ranked No. 6 in the world, can take the next step and break into the top 5 when the tour resumes.