Without doubt one of the best players I have watched live has been Stefanos Tsitsipas. In Melbourne and Madrid I watched the Greek strut around the court with his sublime tennis back in 2019.
In the early stages of this year he was the form playing, he was winning big and you could see big improvements in his game.
It was in Paris when he made his first Grand Slam final and was two sets up against Djokovic and sadly for him he lost his way.
Since then it has been a struggle and some of it has not been helped by his own behaviour. Taking bathroom breaks whilst out in America became a consistent theme, during Cincinnati in 4 matches the Greek was off court for about 40 minutes.
Players complained about it and it did blow up a bit at the US Open with Andy Murray not happy during the match at the time he was spending off court and the disruption to the momentum which saw Tsitsipas booed on a number of occasions.
I did lose a lot of respect for Tsitsipas for this episode, he’s better than that and he created the circus. The show went on from Stefanos and then his coach Patrick Mouratoglou posting videos of why he was taking a break etc… none of it helped, it just fuelled it further and Stefanos should’ve been better advised.
It has affected his tennis, when he was playing some of the best tennis of the year in the first 5/6 months he played with an intensity that sometimes was his own downfall in defeats but everything has been a bit all over the place since.
The intensity has dropped and that sees his game go with it. He is someone who needs those intense rallies and quick points and they haven’t happened.
Coming into the Paris Masters he has won 13 of his last 20 matches which for someone who wants to challenge for the biggest titles isn’t going to happen like that. He has been playing a lot of doubles lately, I am a fan of players playing both but at the moment his performances aren’t settled in singles and in doubles he hasn’t performed with multiple partners.
The season finale is a place to finish the year on a high which I think he needs. I want to see Stefanos learn from what he did well and not so well this year and go for it in 2021. In my eyes he should be contending the biggest titles so in Melbourne and Paris next year I want to see that level and that Tsitsipas back on the court.
There will be questions going into Turin on his form and his fitness following his retirement in Paris with an arm injury but I hope we see a big showing from the Greek.