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Why Stefanos Tsitsipas cannot win a major

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Roar Rookie
30th September, 2021
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At his best, Stefanos Tsitsipas can obliterate his opponents with his attacking style of play and his killer ground strokes.

He has repeatedly attempted to break into the prestigious group of players who can actually win majors, (Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alex Zverev), but there is one issue with his play: he is turning into a Nick Kyrgios.

Kyrgios has a Happy Gilmore-like attitude towards tennis. He is known for his impressive racquet smashes, verbal abuse towards umpires, and a unique style of play.

Tsitsipas could become one with the man himself, as they both share similar tennis characteristics in the form of aggression towards opponents, and questionable, controversial techniques, such as Tsitsipas’s extended breaks to the bathroom, or Kyrgios’s tendency to rack up verbal abuse penalties.

Both players have one more thing in common as well: potential. Stacks of it.

US Open winner Dominic Thiem was pushed to five sets in his match against Kyrgios at the Australian Open, before his skill got the better of the Australian. Tsitsipas very nearly defeated Zverev in the Cincinnati Open semi-final, in a really entertaining match.

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If both of these players can somehow learn to calm down mid-match before next year’s Australian Open, then they could take the tennis world by storm, Tsitsipas especially.

After the end of the Djokovic era, there will be a big battle for top spot. At the moment, Medvedev leads the charge, knocking over Djokovic in the US Open final. Zverev could also be a big threat, as he took home the gold medal in the Olympics earlier this year.

Another contender is Thiem. After his wrist heals well, he will be right back to his best, causing numerous headaches for opponents. If Tsitsipas can do what is needed of him, he will be a menace to society. But it doesn’t look very likely for the big man.

First of all, Stefanos will have to develop stronger mentally. He will need to relax when he is down a set or two, and not do anything stupid. Second of all, he has to become a bit more reliable. Like Ash Barty, he could learn new strategies to poke holes in an opponent’s defence, such as the trademark drop-shot and lob.

The Greek, with his powerful technique, will need a better idea. What has worked for numerous players is the infamous ankle-breaker. After a shot is hit deep in a corner of the court, the player will most likely return to the centre of the court. He will then (most likely) sprint to the other end, expecting a cross-court volley.

Instead, the opposing player volleys back towards where he hit the last shot, back to the corner. The other player will have to double back and hit a defensive lob. This will result in an easy smash, and then, voila! There’s your point.

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The Greeks might be known for their democracy, Olympic’, and yoghurt, but if Tsitsipas can’t follow all these ideas, they will never get a world No.1 player in the ATP.

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