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Stefanos Tsitsipas claims he's "very close" to Novak Djokovic in Race to Turin standings, hopes to overtake the Serb during hardcourt swing

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas
Rudra Biswas

World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is currently competing at the Hamburg European Open, recently spoke about a host of topics, including his Nitto ATP Finals aspirations and his goals for the rest of the season.

Tsitsipas is set to become the second player to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic secured a berth at the season-ending tournament after winning Wimbledon last week.

Following his triumph at SW19, Djokovic sits on 7,170 points in the Race to Turin standings. Tsitsipas is second with 4,570 points. The Greek can add to his tally by winning the ATP 500 event in Hamburg this week.

In that context, Tsitsipas insisted he was motivated by the prospect of closing in on Djokovic. The Greek also said he was looking forward to accumulating truckloads of points during the North American hardcourt swing and potentially leapfrogging the Serb.

“(On the Race To Turin) Currently it’s a big motivation. I know I’m very close to Djokovic. I’m motivated for a better second half of the season,” Tsitsipas told the ATP.
“There’s going to be a lot of action in the States with hard court tournaments, and I think there’s a gap for me to close there. Perhaps make a big amount of points and get in the lead again," Tsitsipas added.

"I need to be mentally healthy and fit to get to that point again" - Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas led the Race to Turin rankings earlier this year after winning his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo. The Greek, however, has since been left in the dust by Djokovic, who won the Belgrade Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon to move to the top spot.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (L) and Novak Djokovic after the 2021 French Open final
Stefanos Tsitsipas (L) and Novak Djokovic after the 2021 French Open final

Tsitsipas, meanwhile, reached his maiden Major final at Roland Garros but then suffered a first-round exit to Frances Tiafoe at Wimbledon.

The Greek said he was hoping to get back to the form he showed during the claycourt swing, but pointed out that he must be in the right physical and mental shape.

"My body needs to be in the right state. And I need to be mentally healthy and fit to be able to get to that point again,” Tsitsipas said.

Tsitsipas will open his Hamburg campaign against Dominik Koepfer later on Wednesday. The Greek, who made the final in the German city two years ago, declared he was happy to be back.

“For sure, we want to have places that when we travel, we feel connected,” Tsitsipas said in an interview with Andrea Petkovic. “It just clicks with certain places. You feel the atmosphere, the vibe better than any other place. For me it’s just so organised here… it definitely has something to it in the air.”

Tsitsipas also stressed the need to keep developing his own personality off the court with a view to inspiring people.

“There is a constant need for development, for clarification of myself, which I haven’t been able to expose to its full potential yet. I’m a guy who has a lot of interests outside the court. I’m still looking for my voice,” Tsitsipas said. “It’s a daily thing, where I’m trying to see the things I can bring to the table, how many people I can potentially inspire with the ideas I have to bring.”

Edited by Arvind Sriram

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