Stefanos Tsitsipas: biography
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a professional basketball player from Greece. Aged 20, Tsitsipas is the youngest sportsman who had even reached top 10 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Besides, Stefanos glorifies his country – he is the highest-ranked Greek player in history. Alongside Naomi Osaka, Leonardo Mayer and others, Stefanos is considered to be the best tennis players of today.
Are you interested in his way to success now? Read below!
Stefanos' birthplace is Athens – he was born there on August 12, 1998, to the family of Apostolos Tsitsipas, Greek and Julia Apostoli, Russian. The sportsman emulated the love for tennis by his parents – they both were experienced tennis players. Julia herself was a world No. 1 junior who had a career-high professional ranking inside the top 200 and represented the Soviet Union in Fed Cup.
The couple had been working as children coaches at the Astir Palace resort hotel in Vouliagmeni before Tsitsipas was born. They met each other at a WTA tournament in Athens where his mother was competing, and his father was a line judge. Besides Stefanos, there were three more children in the family – his younger siblings Petros, Pavlos, and Elisavet, all of whom are also tennis players.
So, Stefanos started playing tennis as a little boy. He hit balls with his father in the gap between lessons. Tsitsipas also liked watching tennis on TV. Interestingly, Stefanos also dedicated himself to football and swimming but chose tennis as the main direction of his life. So, once he woke up in the middle of the night after a tournament in France at the age of nine and told his father that he wanted to become a professional tennis player, that he liked competitions and challenges.
As a 6-year-old player, Stefanos started attending Tennis Club Glyfada near Athens. However, his father has stayed his main coach. In 2015, Tsitsipas also began training at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy, splitting time between France and Greece during this period.
At an early age, Stefanos learned four languages - English, Greek, Hindi and Russian.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a former world No. 1 junior. He began performing on the ITF junior circuit in 2013 as a 14-year-old teenager. He didn't take part in any high-level Grade A tournaments until the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano in November 2014 but managed to make it all the way to the final of his second career Grade A event at the Orange Bowl a month later. In 2015 the sportsman succeeded to play in the junior Grand Slam tournaments. In these four events, a quarterfinal at the Australian Open was his best result. That year Tsitsipas failed to win singles finals but happened to finish 2nd at the Orange Bowl.
2016 brought a real breakthrough for Stefanos. So, reached at least the quarterfinals of all eight tournaments that he played, including all four Grand Slams. Besides, he won his first Grade A title at the Trofeo Bonfiglio. Tsitsipas also became a winner of the European Junior Championships later in the year. Stefanos was named the first male Greek who had ever won a junior Grand Slam in the Open Era. The season was closed with the title of No. 2 ranked junior in the world, behind only Kecmanović who had played several more events.
In 2017, he made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open and went on to qualify for the main draw by defeating Thomas Fabbiano, Gleb Sakharov and Oscar Otte, but lost to Ivo Karlovic in straight sets.
In 2017, he also reached the main draw at Wimbledon by beating Santiago Giraldo, Yannick Hanfmann and Joris De Loore, but once again lost in straight sets, this time to Dušan Lajović. He also qualified for the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals as an alternate. However, he gained worldwide attention in April 2018 after he reached his first career ATP final at the Barcelona Open by defeating four top-ten seeds, including third seed and clay court specialist Dominic Thiem, to face world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the final.
Tsitsipas started 2018 at the Qatar Open where he lost in the quarterfinals to world No. 5 Dominic Thiem, again as a qualifier. After losing in the opening round in his Australian Open debut, his best result in the rest of the early-year hardcourt season was another quarterfinal at the Dubai Tennis Championships. During the clay court season, after qualifying for the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 tournament, beating Denis Shapolapov and then losing to sixth seed David Goffin, Tsitsipas's first breakthrough of the year came at the Barcelona Open, where he reached his first career ATP final without dropping a set.
During the ATP 500 Series tournament, he defeated three top 20 players including No. 7 Thiem, before losing to world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in a lopsided match. With this result, Tsitsipas moved into the top 50 and became the second Greek to reach an ATP final after Nicky Kalogeropoulos in 1973. His performance also gained national attention in Greece, where tennis is not a widely popular sport. The following week at the Estoril Open, he reached another semifinal. He also picked up a third career top ten victory over No. 8 Kevin Anderson.
Interestingly, playing in Miami, Tsitsipas became the reason of a scandal. So, he insulted his opposer Daniil Medvedev who defeated him in the first round on the basis of nationality. The latter couldn’t endure it and wanted to talk to him, man to man, but was not allowed to do it by the referee. The next match Stefanos Tsitsipas faced head to head Alexander Zverev, also Russian, but that time preferred to keep silence.
The season 2019 was opened at the Hopman Cup alongside Maria Sakkari – they became the first duo to represent Greece at the event in 17 years. They finished in a three-way tie for first in their round-robin group, having won their ties against the United States and Switzerland after being upset in their opening tie against Great Britain. They got to second place in terms of the tiebreak. The only victory Stefanos was pleased by was against Frances Tiafoe, while one of his losses was against Roger Federer.
That time Tsitsipas also participated in the Australian Open and succeeded to reach his first major semifinal. After continuing his run against Roberto Bautista Agut, he easily lost to No. 2 Rafael Nadal, only winning six games. Nonetheless, his performance helped him climb to a career-best ranking of No. 12 in the world to become the highest-ranked Greek player in history.
In February the player reached two finals in February in back-to-back weeks in the Grand Slam. He received the second career title at the Open 13 in Marseille over Mikhail Kukushkin before finishing runner-up to Federer at the Dubai Tennis Championships.
After his performance in Dubai, Tsitsipas got to the top 10 of the ATP rankings for the first time. Tsitsipas closed out the early year hard court season with a career-best result in doubles, finishing runner-up to the Bryan brothers at the Miami Open with Wesley Koolhof. A month later, he won his first career clay-court title at the Estoril Open after defeating Pablo Cuevas in the final.
He reached a second successive clay court final at the Madrid Open, only to lose to Novak Djokovic, after defeating Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. As the 6th seed, Tsitsipas reached the last 16 at the French Open before losing to champion Stan Wawrinka in a 5 set thriller lasting over 5 hours.
Tsitsipas has a net worth of $2 million.
Speaking about Stefanos' way of playing, he is an aggressive baseliner. He aims to hit powerful groundstroke winners and has a particularly strong forehand using an eastern grip. He also has a big serve and can go to the net more often than typical baseline players. However, the player also has his weaknesses – for example, to overhit and make unforced errors while trying to hit winners.
Tsitsipas's signature shot is his one-handed backhand, a rarity in modern tennis. As a kid, he experimented with both one-handed and two-handed backhands but chose to go with the former at around eight years old because both of his parents and his idol Roger Federer all use a one-handed backhand, and also because it felt more natural. His favorite shot is the backhand down-the-line.
Tsitsipas is regarded as having an all-court game. His favorite surface is grass and Wimbledon is his favorite tournament. Tsitsipas also excels on clay, having grown up playing on that surface in Greece. Tsitsipas has also done well on hard courts, reaching a Masters final and an Australian Open semifinal.
Stefanos' mother, the daughter of an Olympic men's soccer gold medalist, Apostoli-Salnikova was the highest-ranked woman in the Soviet Union when she was 16 and 17. She represented the country in Fed Cup, and notched a win over Virginia Wade, a three-time Grand Slam champion, in 1981. But restrictions on her travel and clashes with federation coaches — they took particular umbrage to her having a Yugoslavian boyfriend — limited her opportunities.
Once in a post-match interview, Stefanos shared his mother's twin sister had helped his family with finances – it was she who let him travel with his father to train and compete during his junior career. Tsitsipas' maternal grandfather Sergei Salnikov was an Olympic gold medal-winning member of the Soviet national football team and a former manager of FC Spartak Moscow.
When it comes to Tsitsipas' hobbies, he supports the Greek football team AEK Athens. Also, he likes vlogging – he has created his own YouTube channel for publishing videos of his daily life.
Once during a Futures tournament in Crete, Tsitsipas nearly drowned while swimming at sea on an off-day. Fortunately, his father noted a current had carried him away from the shore and succeeded to save his life. According to Stefanos, due to this experience, he feels absolutely zero fear on the court.
Tsitsipas is interested in promoting tennis in Greece, where he has said "this kind of sport is not very popular."
What about his net worth, after turning professional in 2016, Tsitsipas has accumulated £3.5million.
He has won three ATP singles titles and reached seven finals. The sportsman won a junior Grand Slam title with a victory in the 2016 Wimbledon boys' doubles event. Also, Stefanos reached three tour-level finals in 2018 and won his first title at the Stockholm Open.