Apostolos Tsitsipas talking to 3XY:
’’I lived with him the dreams. It’s very important to let the kids live the dreams, to inspire them and to go for it.”
After weeks of hype, Australian Open star Stefanos Tsitsipas appeared was farewelled from media representatives and members of the Greek community last Saturday night.
The event, organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV), allowed fans to express their admiration and meet with the Australian Open semi-finalist.
The 20-year-old Greek ace pointed out that the love and support he felt from the people during the games was unbelievable, making him feel that fans wanted his win more than he himself did.
“I had a sensation of euphoria and other great feelings inside the field with the support of all the people that came to see me, both Greeks and others, mainly Australians. It was unbelievable, I don’t think I’ve ever had such massive support in my life”, said Tsitsipas.
And that is no small feat bearing in mind the huge support he enjoys from his own parents and siblings that have been beside him over the years.
He said that family is the most important thing in the world for him, and without them, he wouldn’t be in the position he is today. He was hopeful that his success at the Australian Open would be the sign of great things to come, however he admitted to feeling empty after it was over – “like the flame within had burnt out”.
He repeated that the game with Rafael Nadal had been relentless, giving him “no chance” to claim a win.
He closed with a word of advice for young people wanting to follow in his footsteps: “First of all, I’d like to give them a small warning. It won’t be easy. There will be a lot of challenges along the way. They need to know this before they get in. But they shouldn’t give up on their dreams, I’m sure they each have their own aspirations to make something of themselves in this sport. So I imagine one good piece of advice would be to keep the faith. Keep training hard of course because some may think that it’ll just fall in their lap but that’s definitely not the case. I had to learn that the hard way. And to stay devoted to the sport.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas’ father, Apostolos, speaking to 3XY, also pointed out how important it is to work hard and follow your dreams. ‘’I lived with him the dreams. It’s very important to let the kids live the dreams, to inspire them and to go for it. In our country we had a lot of difficulties, financial crisis, we managed to overcome and I knew that if he found the right environment, he would do it.”
Commenting on how to mix the father/coach role, Apostolos said: ‘I have to play both roles, my main role is father and during all our life we managed to separate like, when I am out of the court I am his father, and when I am on the court I am his coach. As a father I can create an even better person for the society and if I achieve that, I am complete as a person.’
On the support Stefanos got from his fans in Melbourne, Apostolos concluded: ‘The people were supporting us from the first day, there is a fanbase of Australian Greeks, they still remember and love Greece and meeting us here is like the country is coming to them”.