TSITSIPAS IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS

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Sport 360

Bill Simons

He’s long, he’s fleet and he dares to charge the net. He’s athletic and a seeker. Stefanos Tsitsipas is a curious Renaissance thinker in the tradition of Andrea Petkovic, Yannick Noah and Arthur Ashe.

But it’s not just his provocative, what’s-it-all-about tweets, his perceptive videos or that he’s a great family man who impresses. The sleek, twenty-year-old with long flowing locks is a winner. He almost pulled off the Iberian Peninsula Double: he won in Portugal and then crossed over to Spain and reached the Madrid final. He has wins over many a top ten player, including fellows named Roger, Rafa and Novak and that other Next Gen star, Alexander Zverev. He likes the big stage, backs up his wins and is resilient. American Pete Sampras and Aussies Nick Kyrgios and Mark Philippoussis all have Greek blood. Stefanos is the real thing. Born in Athens, he is now No. 6 and by far the highest ranked Greek ever. With his swift movement, luscious one-handed backhand and fine flow, he brings an appealing beauty. He’s fun to watch. Here’s a collection of Tsitsipas comments:

“The meteor continues to sprint across the sky. He hasn’t really flinched.” – Brett Haber

“You are definitely a new star in tennis and have a bright future ahead of you. I’m glad to witness your greatness.” – Novak Djokovic

“For twenty years, they’ve told us you can’t play at the net consistently. The equipment and players are too good, it’s too easy to pass them. Tsitsipas is going to be that player who combines old school net attacking with the modern day endless baseline game.” – Jimmy Connors’ son, Brett Connors

“Tsitsipas is the best offensive defender in the history of the game – a huge slide and a little flick of the wrist.” – Paul Annacone

“I’m really happy that I am fighting and I am in the zone…[and] enjoying tennis at its fullest potential…Today’s victory gave me an unbelievable feeling. I can’t explain it.” – Tsitsipas, after beating Nadal in the Monte Carlo semis

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