Stefanos Tsitsipas admits Rafael Nadal inflicted a ‘painful’ humiliation on him, but he’s happy he did
Stefanos Tsitsipas has opened up about his 2019 Australian Open defeat to Rafael Nadal, admitting it was a ‘painful’ experience.
Tsitsipas knocked Roger Federer out of the tournament already before running into Nadal, but he was soundly beaten in the semi-finals.
In fact, it went so wrong for the Greek that he was even bageled in the third set to add the final insult to the 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 defeat.
Tsitsipas, though, while happy to admit it was a painful experience, also believes it was an absolutely necessary one.
“Tough losses are important for my career as they make me want to come back stronger, and without them I feel like I’m perfect: which I’m not,” Tsitsipas told ATPTour.com on that defeat to Rafael Nadal.
“They are crucial for everyone. That semi-final loss was painful, even though it was in three sets.
“I came so close to reaching a Grand Slam final, something I have always dreamed of doing. I also didn’t deliver much in that match, he played well.
“It was a shame, as I’d played well in the two weeks. I went back to the court two days [later] and started to improve.
“You can’t hit winners and aces all of the time, but I had this let-down [last] summer.
“I was trying to get better and better, but I started to go backwards — when you put in so much work and effort, but it has the reverse effect.
“But that’s what happened, and I knew I had to loosen up and not to expect too much.
“I had to enjoy the game, and not go out to get a big lead and win. You can’t get everything perfectly done.”
- Keep up to date with the breaking news & tennis action at our tennis news section
- Win amazing prizes by entering our competitions
- Learn more about your favourite players including Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic
- Check out the latest tennis equipment with our tennis gear reviews
- Receive regular updates with our legendary newsletter
- Read in depth features with stunning photography in tennishead magazine
- Can’t visit the tournaments you love? Check out our guide on how to watch tennis on TV
- Don’t miss a thing with our Live Scores service
- Follow tennishead on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube
- EXCLUSIVE 5% DISCOUNT for all tennishead readers on tennis rackets, balls, clothing, shoes & accessories with All Things Tennis, our dedicated tennis gear partner