"I like that number" - Stefanos Tsitsipas on being one win away from becoming World No. 1 at Australian Open 2023

Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the final of 2023 Australian Open
Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the final of 2023 Australian Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the final of the 2023 Australian Open, his first time reaching the summit clash in Melbourne. The Greek tennis sensation scored a promising 7-6(2), 6-4, 6(6)-7, 6-3 victory over Russia's Karen Khachanov in a four-set encounter.

The 24-year-old managed to make headway after three failed attempts in the semifinals of the Australian Open (2019, 2021, 2022). Through to his second Grand Slam final after his runner-up finish at the 2021 French Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas was ecstatic about the exciting chance at the title and stated that one of his aims has been to put Greek tennis on the map.

“I feel blessed for the fact that I am able to play tennis at this level. I’ve been wanting for many years now to put Greek tennis on the map,” he said in his on-court interview, while also acknowledging Maria Sakkari’s contribution to tennis in the country.

As Stefanos Tsitsipas makes it to the final two, the World No. 4 is on a quest not just for his first Major title, but also the World No. 1 spot. Speaking about the golden opportunity, Tsitsipas said that he fancied the highly-regarded spot.

“I like that number. Yeah. It’s all about you. It’s singular. It’s one,” he expressed.

The former World No. 3 revealed that it had been his childhood dream to clinch the World No. 1 crown and agreed that the spot was within his reach this time around. Stefanos Tsitsipas also remarked that vying for the top spot in addition to the title was of greater significance than any other final he would contest.

“You know, these are the moments that I’ve been working hard for. To be able to play finals like this, but finals that have a bigger meaning, than just (any other) final. It’s a Grand Slam final. I am fighting for the No. 1 spot and it’s a childhood dream to be capturing that No. 1 spot one day. I am close,” he said.

The 24-year-old concluded by stating that the idea of becoming World No. 1 after winning the Australian Open final meant much more, given the immeasurable support from the Greek fans.

“I am happy that this opportunity comes here in Australia, and not, let’s see .. somewhere else, because this is a place of significance. So, let’s do it guys! Let’s go!” he said.

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Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas at 2021 French Open
Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas at 2021 French Open

Claiming the World No. 1 spot in the rankings, however, won’t be an easy task for Stefanos Tsitsipas. For his final hurdle, the World No. 4 awaits the winner of the semifinal between Tommy Paul and nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.

Notably, World No. 5 Djokovic is in contention for the top spot just as much as Tsitsipas. Either one of the pair will be required to win the title at the tournament Down Under to replace Carlos Alcaraz as the World No. 1.

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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