Stefanos Tsitsipas recently responded to Alexander Zverev's criticism of the COVID-affected ranking system. The German had complained earlier that the revised rankings were a farce, as Roger Federer was placed higher than the German despite having played just one tournament in the last one year.
Tsitsipas claimed he understood where Zverev was coming from, but that he chooses to look at the scenario from a different perspective. According to the 22-year-old, the current top 10 players could have taken the matter out of Roger Federer's hands entirely by producing better results in 2020.
"I understand his (Zverev's) point," Stefanos Tsitsipas said. "But the system is what it is and we (players) do not have a big decision-making power on it."
"It's really up to us to improve in the standings and we had all sorts of opportunities to do so in the last couple of months that Roger Federer hasn't played," he added.
"Relieved to have been able to pass Roger Federer after playing for so long, it freaked me out" - Stefanos Tsitsipas on becoming the new World No. 5
Stefanos Tsitsipas also spoke about displacing Roger Federer from the No. 5 position in the ATP rankings last week. After admitting he was 'relieved' to get there, the Greek insisted that it might not be long before Federer starts making his climb back up the rankings.
"In fact, I'm relatively relieved to have been able to pass him after playing for so long," Tsitsipas said. "It freaked me out (laughs), but it might not last long."
Tsitsipas also claimed he doesn't pay too much attention to the externalities of the sport, stressing that it was the ATP's job to look out for the players on the tour. That is in sharp contrast to Tsitsipas' rival Alexander Zverev, who has been very vocal about his problems with the revised ranking system.
"Nothing changes" - Alexander Zverev on his current relationship with Roger Federer
According to Alexander Zverev, the current COVID-affected rankings don't represent the true nature of his billing. The German claimed he should have been ranked higher than Roger Federer, as he had reached the finals of a Grand Slam and a Masters 1000 tournament in 2020.
It is pertinent to note that Zverev parted ways with Federer's agency 'TEAM 8' a few months ago, as the German believed he was better off being managed by his brother Mischa and former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka. But while speaking with TV Azteca on Monday, Zverev insisted he doesn't mix his personal and professional lives.
The 23-year-old reassured everyone that he still had a healthy relationship with Roger Federer, the TEAM 8 and ranking system issue notwithstanding. Zverev was also asked about Federer's comeback to the tour from a year-long layoff, to which he replied that it might take some time for the Swiss maestro to get used to playing matches at a high level again.
"Nothing changes," Zverev said when he was asked about his relationship with Federer. "It will take some time for him to be back at his best. He wants to compete, wants to play Wimbledon one more time, which is good for him."