Ste­fanos Tsit­si­pas —

Sportstar - - CHESS COLUMN -

“The great thing about Tsit­si­pas is that he can play [well] on ev­ery sur­face,” praised Paul An­na­cone, who coached Pete Sam­pras and Roger Fed­erer. At the Rogers Cup, the rapidly im­prov­ing Greek knocked off four top 10 op­po­nents: Tsit­si­pas up­set French Open fi­nal­ist Dominic Thiem 6­3, 7­6, Wim­ble­don cham­pion No­vak Djokovic 6­3, 6­7 (5), 6­3, No. 3 Alexan­der Zverev 3­6, 7­6 (11), 6­4, sav­ing two match points, and two­time ma­jor fi­nal­ist Kevin An­der­son 6­4, 6­7, 7­6, again es­cap­ing a

match point. On his last day as a teenager, Tsit­si­pas reached his first ca­reer ATP World Tour Masters 1000 fi­nal. Rafael Nadal fi­nally stopped him at 6­2, 7­6, but the slen­der, 6’4” blond’s rank­ing shot up to a ca­reer

high No.15. Tsit­si­pas, whose fa­ther Apos­to­los coaches him and whose mother Ju­lia was for­merly the No. 1 player in Rus­sia, says he wants to do for Greek ten­nis what the soc­cer team did for Greek soc­cer when it won the EURO in 2004. With a big serve, po­tent fore­hand (26 win­ners against Djokovic) and pic­ture­per­fect

one­handed back­hand, he may just do that. Don’t be sur­prised if red­hot Tsit­si­pas makes the US Open quar­ters, or even the semis.

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