Tsitsipas, during his match against Rublev at the O2 in London.TPN / EL PAÍS
Within the new generation of tennis players, of those who have already gained some body and are called to star in the next decade, Stefanos Tsitsipas He is surely the most talented of all and the one with the greatest projection, because his growth margin is very generous. However, it has a serious problem. They are social networks. The addiction. For example, what happened on September 5, after falling to Borna Coric in the third round of the US Open. Only five minutes had passed since the defeat when the young Greek, who had wasted six match balls in a strenuous pulse that stretched for four and a half hours, transmitted via his phone: “This is the saddest and funniest thing that It has happened to me in my entire career ”.
Like so many other talents that are beginning to take off, Tsitsipas synthesizes the new figure of the modern athlete. In other words, he has the need to retransmit his life and every step he takes, either because he is on vacation with basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo or because he is trying pole vault, or because he simply wants to auction a printer. His day to day is open to everyone, like that of the Brazilian Neymar. “I like living in my world,” says the filigree, who from within that feverish bubble must fight tonight (9:00 pm, Movistar Deportes and #Vamos) in a gunmen’s duel with Rafael Nadal. Heads or tails, all or nothing: whoever wins will access the semifinals on Saturday and whoever falls will say goodbye to the Masters Cup.
“I know it will be painful and that I will have to suffer a lot, but I really want to win,” says the one who burst into the elite like a lightning bolt a couple of years ago, beating Novak Djokovic in Canada and five months later repeating heroism against Roger Federer in Australia, before beating Nadal in the arena of the Magic Box. “I know I have to start strong and finish even stronger,” the Greek is prescribed, who last year, at 21, achieved what a series of magnificent tennis players such as Mats Wilander, Jim Courier or the Balearic himself have not managed to do, lift the prized masters trophy, becoming the youngest since Lleyton Hewitt, 20 in 2001.
That was another stretch, another indication that he is heading towards a privileged space, but Tsitsipas comes and goes, and gives away with a dropper the fascinating version that dazzled experts and champions. “Of the young people, he is the strongest,” says Ivan Lendl. “I am no longer a Next Gen [nombre comercial que la ATP concede a los jóvenes valores]but an adult and I’m ready. I have become a more intelligent and responsible tennis player ”, he usually corrects, mobile phone in hand all day, to the point that a little over a year ago he decided to make a media disconnection after falling in the first round in New York. “I’ve gotten very tired of all the noise that is generated in those places, so I decided to spend a few days in isolation,” he explained then. The blackout lasted only 72 hours.
Defender of the title
“Players do not want to be friends with others because they think that someone will get a secret from you in order to beat you,” he lamented on the Behind the racquet portal in July. “I suppose they are too serious in this regard. For me, making friends would make this whole trip less lonely ”, he affirmed with that fresh and far from cliché speech with which he usually deals with interviews, in the direction of the million fans who follow him on Instagram and another 200,000 more on Twitter, overexposed to all hours on the different platforms.
In any case, Tsitsipas, six of the world has already settled firmly at the top of the circuit and has reached two semifinals in the Grand Slams, those of Melbourne in 2019 and those of Roland Garros last month; Also, two Masters 1000 finals: Montreal in 2018 and Madrid in 2019. Inseparable from his father, who trains him and travels with him all over the world since he was 12 years old, and with whom he usually has more than one disagreement —le he gave an involuntary racket on the elbow at the beginning of the course, trying to burst it – he has not lined up the last straight of the season in the best conditions, affected by the psoas since Paris.
Their immediate fate depends on tonight’s confrontation with Nadal, superior five of the six times they have met, the two that they met on hard court; the last, precisely, in the league of the Masters last year. However, the Greek wishes to revalidate the title and has strong arguments for doing so. Breaking free on the slopes and tweeting it. Of course not.
MASTER TOURNAMENT PROGRAM AND GROUPS
London Group 2020:
Classification: 1st. Dominic Thiem, two wins. 2nd. Rafael Nadal, one. 3rd. Stefanos Tsitsipas, one. 4th. Andrey Rublev, 0, out. The first two of each group go to the semifinals.
Tokyo 1970 Group:
Alexander Zverev, 6-3, 4-6 and 6-3 to Diego Schwartzman.
Daniil Medvedev, double 6-3 to Novak Djokovic.
Classification: 1st. Medvedev, two wins. 2nd. Djokovic, one. 3rd. Zverev, one. 4th. Schwartzman, 0, eliminated.
Today: Thiem-Rublev (not before 3:00 pm, Movistar + Deportes and #Vamos). Nadal-Tsitsipas (not before 9:00 p.m.).
Semifinals and final. Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and Sunday at 9:00 p.m.