After his nerve-wracking win over Germany’s Alexander Zverev in French Open semi-finals on Friday, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece said that his dream always was to play on the big stage, and that he was happy to see compatriot Maria Sakkari doing so well at Roland Garros.
Maria had lost in three tight sets to Czech player Barbora Krejcikova in the semi-finals on Thursday.
“All I can think of is my roots, where I came from, I came from a really small place outside of Athens. My dream was to play here, my dream was to play in the big stage of the French Open one day, I would have never thought that I would,” said Tsitsipas after his semi-final match.
“There were a lot of people today that were raising flags, people cheering me on in Greek, it was very important to have these people around.”
Tsitsipas is glad that Greece is now on tennis map.
“It’s very important for me to do my job well enough to have recognition back in my country. But not only that, I’m very happy that Greece is part of the tennis community more now. I’m very happy that me and Maria have been doing a great job so far elevating the sport and keeping the hopes of Greek tennis alive,” he said.
On the five-setter against Zverev, Tsitsipas said win meant a lot to him.
“It was nerve-wracking and so intense in the first game of the deciding set. I came back and I stayed alive. I felt the crowd with me, they were cheering me and giving me their energy. I still felt that there was hope and a chance to fight back. The only thing I could do is fight. It was very emotional and this wins means a lot. It’s the most important one of my career so far.”