"The reason I play a single-handed backhand is because of Roger Federer, I kind of want to be his successor" - Stefanos Tsitsipas

Anirudh
Stefanos Tsitsipas has stated that he switched to using a single-handed backhand thanks to Roger Federer.
Stefanos Tsitsipas has stated that he switched to using a single-handed backhand thanks to Roger Federer.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has stated that he switched to using a single-handed backhand at the age of eight to emulate Roger Federer.

Throughout his storied career, Federer was known for his single-handed backhand, a shot not many players on the tour played. The majority of the field has always preferred to take the two-handed approach, and it continues to be the case now.

At a press conference on the sidelines of the US Open, Tsitsipas spoke about copying Federer'd single-handed backhand and stated that it was a signature shot of his now. He even hoped to be the Swiss maestro's successor in that aspect.

"I switched and I committed to a single-handed backhand at the age of eight. I remember the phase that I was in between deciding which one am I going to follow. I remember showing up at practice on Monday, playing the entire practice with a double-handed backhand. Then next day on Tuesday, I just decided, You know what, I want to play single-handed backhand. That kept going for weeks and weeks," he stated.
"I remember my second coach at the time, I remember that moment very well, he kind of made fun of me. He said, Stef, are you ever going to decide what you follow? Kind of joked that day. I took it seriously, so I said, Single-handed backhand it is. I'm just committing to that. I'm going all the way, not looking back. It stuck since then. It's my signature shot today. It kind of defines me," Tsitsipas added.

Tsitsipas isn't the only player to try and emulate Federer's single-handed backhand. Norway's Holger Rune recently admitted that he attempted to copy the 20-time Grand Sham champion's iconic shot before being stopped by his coach.

"I even tried the one-handed backhand, but luckily my coach told me to stick to your own tennis. If I was going to idolize them [Federer and Rafael Nadal], I was trying to idolize them all the way. So I wore the same clothes; I played with the same racket," Rune told Forbes.

Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Milos Raonic to progress to 2023 US Open 2R

Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2023 US Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2023 US Open.

At the US Open last year, World No. 94 Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan shocked Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Louis Armstrong Stadium, defeating the Greek in four sets to send him packing in the opening round.

Twelve months after that shock defeat, Tsitsipas put in an impressive performance against Milos Raonic to begin his campaign in New York in a confident fashion. On Monday, the seventh seed returned to the same arena and picked up a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win, registering 25 winners to 20 unforced errors.

Tsitsipas' best performance at the US Open has been a pair of third-round finishes. He will be hoping to make it to the second week of the season's final Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

The 25-year-old will next face the winner of the match between Dominic Stricker and Alexei Popyrin.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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