Tsitsipas shows champions mentality when reflecting on Djokovic French Open final loss

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Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted he has already forgotten about the heartbreak of his French Open final loss against Novak Djokovic. The Greek star progressed to his maiden Grand Slam final in Paris last year and led by two sets before falling in five to the world No 1. He spoke about that agonising defeat ahead of his campaign at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament this week, where he is top seed.

Tsitsipas reached his first ever Grand Slam final last season as he enjoyed a successful clay swing.

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After beating Andrey Rublev in the Monte Carlo final to secure his maiden Masters 1000 title, he went on to reach the final of Barcelona before falling to ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal 7-5 in the final set, and won the title in Lyon the week before Roland Garros.

He went on an impressive run in Paris, beating 31st seed John Isner and 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta before defeating his biggest rivals, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev back-to-back to reach the final.

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In his first attempt to contest for a Grand Slam title, the 23-year-old got off to a fast start as he quickly went two sets up against top seed Djokovic, who had emptied his tank defeating 13-time champion Nadal two days prior.

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Tsitsipas shows champions mentality when reflecting on Djokovic French Open final loss
© Getty Stefanos Tsitsipas has forgotten about his French Open final loss to Novak Djokovic

Tsitsipas found himself 7-6(6) 6-2 up and a set away from his first Major title before Djokovic came storming back.

The Serb took a bathroom break at the conclusion of the second before reeling off the next three sets in a row to win his then-19th Grand Slam title 6-7(6) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4.

The world No 4 was understandably gutted after coming so close but so far to a maiden Grand Slam trophy, which would have made him the first player in his age group to win one.

“Two sets doesn’t really mean anything,” Tsitsipas said after the match, having blown his lead, though he admitted Djokovic was just too good, saying in his post-match press conference: “I don’t think I have regrets. Could have easily cried, but I see no reason for me crying because I tried everything. I couldn’t come up with anything better.”

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Now, the seven-time tour title winner has revealed that the crushing French Open final loss is no longer part of his memory.

Speaking in Rotterdam ahead of this week’s ATP 500 event in which he is the top seed, Tsitsipas said he had “forgotten” all about the rollercoaster five-set final, and admitted that being the runner-up wasn’t good enough for his expectations.

“I completely forgotten about my Roland Garros final,” he told reporters at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

“It’s a good achievement but I don’t want to be the guy that holds a runner-up trophy. I wanna be more than that.”

The world No 4 has not played since suffering a semi-final defeat to Medvedev at the recent Australian Open.

Tsitsipas shows champions mentality when reflecting on Djokovic French Open final loss
© Getty Stefanos Tsitsipas could axe his father as his coach after being seen with Thomas Enqvist

He was criticised by the Russian for receiving on-court coaching from his father who was sitting in his box, and a tournament umpire had to sit underneath Tsitsipas’ box to listen out for whether Apostolos’ Greek words of encouragement were in fact him coaching his son.

But it seems the 23-year-old could be set to ditch his father as his coach, having been seen with 1999 Australian Open finalist Thomas Enqvist in his camp in Rotterdam.

The retired former world No 4 has been Tsitsipas’ vice-captain on Team Europe at the Laver Cup in previous years.

The top seed in Rotterdam will face dangerous young player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his opening match, who he faced en route to his maiden Masters title last season.

“Few days of practice will help me to adjust my tennis to indoor conditions,” Tsitsipas said ahead of his title campaign in Rotterdam

“Davidovich Fokina has done good results, has not reached his full potential, but is a strong opponent as I know from our match in Monte Carlo.”

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