Menu Nitto ATP Finals The O2, London | 15-22 NOV.

Tsitsipas Friday Press Conference

Friday, November 15, 2019
Stefanos Tsitsipas

Press Conference
R. NADAL/S. Tsitsipas

6-7, 6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How exhausting was this match psychologically for you? Because you have been qualified for the semifinals, but it was really difficult to lose such a big match.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, it was kind of funny. During the match I thought about it a couple of times, but at the end I really want to win, and that win means a lot to me because it's against a tough player, the current No. 1.

So I came very close, and I would say I did leave something in the tank. I didn't really go full, full. I could have gone even more full than that, but I'm not disappointed by that.

I wanted to win but probably wasn't willing to die on the court for that. But despite that, things went well, really well. My main focus is doing well in the semifinals more than this match. But again, I wanted to win, so, yeah.

Q. You really were under pressure while serving in the match, because Nadal had many breakpoints against you. You couldn't have none breakpoints...
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think I had none, right? No breakpoints.

Q. Yeah, against him. So this can be maybe something to work out and pay attention maybe to prepare yourself to face Nadal again in the final?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Sure. I will need some advice from this guy over there (smiling). Best returner of all times.

It's very strange, you know. I like playing lefties. I never had problem playing lefties. My record against lefties, I think, I don't know, in my entire career even outside of ATP has been positive.

There is something about him. I don't know. It comes with a different spin, and that makes it really difficult to return. It's like my brain is used on one certain motion, and suddenly this is like reversed in a way.

We all know he's not the biggest server in the tour. He uses his serve very wise and smart, but he doesn't kill you with his serve.

Yeah, it didn't happen today. I'm going to definitely work on it and have more practice sessions with lefties, because most of the time I'm practicing with right-handed players, and work on that more, because for sure I'm going to face him many more times in the future.

Q. You have either Roger or Thiem tomorrow. Any preference either way? Can you just talk about the matchup with both of them?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, Thiem plays with a lot of intensity, uses his forehand very well. Roger is very aggressive. I mean, both very aggressive players but different styles. I would compare that one is just flawless and doesn't use too much of his power to play. The other one is really forcing much.

So for me I'm going to -- I mean, I'm going to take it pretty much the same way, both single-handed backhands. I have played them both.

I don't know. It's not much to say about them. I respect them, and I have to play well. I know that, because everything is -- everything counts in the semifinals of the O2.

Q. I believe that you remember the press conference that you had in Melbourne after you lost to Rafa. A lot has happened since then, both good and bad. Today we hear that you actually say that you were pacing, in a way, pacing yourself in this match.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I was what?

Q. Pacing yourself, that you didn't go all out or you were, like...
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, I don't want you guys to think that -- I definitely, for sure, gave everything on the court. It wasn't my priority, let's call it. It wasn't my priority, that's for sure.

Q. Just describe the process, let's say, the emotional maturity that has gone on from Melbourne to today in that respect when Rafa is in question.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, it's good to see that I have improved since Melbourne. Obviously the score was different this time. I didn't get destroyed. I don't feel like I got destroyed. I was just very, very close.

I feel like I'm getting closer, honestly. I feel I'm getting closer, I'm doing the right steps, taking the right decisions. He's a very difficult opponent to play. Big fighter, really, like he gives his soul.

I have dealt over the years -- not over the years, over the last couple of months to face losses with a more positive way. I don't get so much frustrated with myself and beaten up. That's how we'd call it. I deal with them a little bit better, and I see the positive side of it.

Q. Today, three hours' match. Do you think it will be a problem for tomorrow's match? The other player has one more day to stay.
THE MODERATOR: The other player has one more day to recover, to rest.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, not ready. It's okay. My body feels well currently. I don't feel pain anywhere. I feel fresh, honestly. After having a long, difficult match like this, I feel like I can go out and play tomorrow the same way. So I don't have any problem with that.

Q. You turned 21 this year. I'm curious if you actually feel like a grown adult?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I think this growth in me was also connecting with other people, which I wasn't really willing in a way to do before, because I was really concentrating on my tennis.

That first interaction kind of got me a little bit more -- just got me to realize certain things that I didn't know before and how this world works and everything.

And also, I was struggling as a child with fear of rejection, so I was never really able to open up and say what I feel and whatever.

So this kind of has matured me over the last couple of months, taught me a lot of things. I feel much more as a 21-year-old now than I did before. It was also something that helped a lot, not just in my tennis over the last couple of months but also in my behavior and my everyday life.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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