The Rising Star of Greece

Full Name: Stefanos Tsitsipas

Birth Date: 12 August 1998

Place of Birth: Greece

Playing Years: 2016 to present

Highest Ranking: No. 15 (Current)

Formative Years

Stefanos Tsitsipas is a prodigy whose skills he obtained mostly from inheritance. He began to play tennis at the age of 3 with his parents, who were both professional players of the sport. His father is his lifetime coach, and his mother, Julia Salnikova, was a top-tier player in the former Soviet Union in the 1980s. His parents are instrumental in the young man’s interest in tennis as the sport itself is not so popular in his homeland Greece.

At the age of 14, Tsitsipas commenced playing at the junior circuit of International Tennis Federation (ITF) in 2013. He had his first high-level Grade A tournament in November 2014 at the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano, and was able to reach the finals in the following month. In 2015, he made his Grand Slam debut as a junior and made it to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. By the end of the season, he was world’s No. 14 junior.

In 2016, Tsitsipas broke into the quarterfinals of four Grand Slams he played. He achieved his first Grade A title at the Trofeo Bonfiglio, and won the European Junior Championships later that year. His biggest title of that season is a win in Grand Slam doubles with Kenneth Raisma. By May 2016, he was named world’s No. 1 junior.

Professional Career

While his career is in a relatively slow pace compared to other players of his generation, Tsitsipas development in his form was shown to be smooth. In 2016, he had made it to the semi-finals of Wimbledon and the US Open, and conquered the European Junior Championships. In the 5 Futures he played, he took home 3 Futures trophies. While he made his debut as pro in 2015, Tsitsipas only turned full pro in 2017.

Tsitsipas had his first ATP win by the middle of 2017 over Karen Khachanov, and won straight sets until losing to John Isner with 2 tie breaks. He qualifies for the ATP 250 tournament at Antwerp. At such a young age, he beat world No. 10 David Goffin in the same tournament. By the end of the tour, he made it to the Top 100 of Emirates ATP Rankings, becoming the first Greek ever to do so since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in 1973.

In 2018, Tsitsipas stunned the world when he beat three players from the world’s Top 10 in a match. He won a match against the likes of Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, and Alexander Zverev during the ATP 500 Series Tournament.

Fresh and energetic, Stefanos Tsitsipas is one of the interesting and exciting characters who recently just emerged that is worth watching out for.

By @EliaasMJ

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