Greek tennis player Stefanos Tistsipas has said that he felt “overwhelmed” when he rose to world No. 3 in the ATP rankings last week, and that it will provide him the motivation for the Western & Southern Open which got underway in Cincinnati on Tuesday (IST).
The 23-year-old has recorded a tour-leading 45 victories this season which have seen him achieve one of his long-term goals of cracking the top-3. However, Tsitsipas, the French Open finalist this year, is aiming to rise even further in the coming weeks.
“No. 3 is a number that is very significant and it holds a big importance,” Tsitsipas said on Monday. “You don’t get many exciting moments like this in your career. I saw it come out, and I felt overwhelmed by it. It was a great feeling. It adds some value to yourself for the efforts that you have put in to get there.”
“It kind of pushes me so much to sustain that, to want to go the extra mile in the next tournaments, and that was my initial goal from the beginning of the year, to make it into the top three. Now the second phase of that goal is to remain there.
“The rankings are there for a reason. They signify something important. I think that the very next step would be the No. 1 spot, which I hope I can get to one day,” Tsitsipas was quoted as saying by atptour.com.
Tsistipas, who is making his third appearance in Cincinnati, won his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy in Monte Carlo in April and advanced to his maiden Grand Slam final at the French Open in June.
However, the eight-time tour-level champion insists his focus is not solely on capturing trophies, but performing consistently each week.
“My top priority is getting far into the tournament, playing good tennis,” Tsitsipas said. “I have said it, I’m not aiming for titles. I’m not aiming to go and win every single one of them. I want to get to the stage of a tournament where I’m able to get a lot of points.
“I am aiming for the big points. I know that most of the big points are [from the] semi-finals onwards. That’s where you get the most amount of points, and I want to be aiming for that. If I reach the very first goal of it, I’m not going (to} stop. I’m still going to continue doing the things that I have been doing well from that point onwards.”
The second seed in Cincinnati will play either American Sebastian Korda or Serbian Laslo Djere in his opening match, and is aiming to adjust to the conditions quickly in Ohio following his run to the last four in Canada last week.
“I know for a fact that all these events have different kinds of conditions to be adjusting to. Some of the places are a bit more humid. My top priority is finding that balance, finding that quick adjustment from switching from one tournament to the next without massive gaps or holes in my game.”