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Tsitsipas: Nadal thrashing made me want to come back stronger

Tsitsipas: Nadal thrashing made me want to come back stronger

10/02/2020 at 10:47Updated 10/02/2020 at 12:08

Stefanos Tsitsipas has opened up on the experience of his 2019 Australian Open humbling at the hands of Rafael Nadal, saying it made him more determined.

The Greek youngster enjoyed his breakthrough Grand Slam in Melbourne a year ago, beating Roger Federer on his way to the semi-finals, where was duly beaten 6-2, 6-4, 6-0.

Tsitsipas the humbling experience made him all the more determined to come back strongly but admitted that he struggling to get over the disappointment he felt at the time.

“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," he told the ATP's official website.

“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."

Tsitsipas finished 2019 in style, winning the ATP Finals in London, but suffered a mid-season lull, which he is attributing to burn-out.

"Burnout is a mixture of a lot of things – stress before and after the match, and trying to reach your goals.

“It’s mostly mental, rather than physical, but it’s about just having a good balance on and off the court. Not so much seeing tennis as a job, more as a game.

Video - Highlights: Watch Nadal's awesome semi-final demolition of Tsitsipas

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"I feel like I took it too seriously at times, I expected too much, demanded too much. The more matches you have, with that mindset, the closer you are to burnout.

"I feel like I need to loosen up sometimes and enjoy the game. I also think I can’t play at 100 per cent every single point.

"I had a pretty spectacular year [in 2019] and the toughest thing will be doing the same this year, through different formulas. I don’t want to duplicate, but I want to do better. I am always aiming for more."