Stefanos Tsitsipas prefers underdog tag for Miami Open, but ‘the desire is there’ to break Masters duck

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action

He is still to taste success at ATP Masters 1000 level, but Stefanos Tsitsipas feels he is “really close” to getting the monkey off his back.

The Greek has appeared in two Masters finals, but he finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the 2018 Canadian Open while Novak Djokovic got the better of him at the 2019 Madrid Open.

He is also still waiting for his breakthrough at ATP 500 level as he has been runner-up in six finals, the latest a two-set defeat at the hands of Alexander Zverev in the Mexican Open final on Saturday.

A Masters 1000 title will be up for grabs this week at the Miami Open and Tsitsipas is itching to get his hands on the trophy.

“I would be thrilled to walk away with a Masters 1000 title. The opportunity hasn’t presented itself, but I feel like I’m getting really close,” he said.

“I really want it a lot and the desire is there. It always has been. I’m always working to get better, and I think that’s what’s going to help me get to that point of winning Masters 1000 events. I feel also I just need more opportunities to get there.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas predicts ‘amazing battles’ between younger players once the Big Three call it a day

Tsitsipas is seeded second at the Miami Open and he admits he is in with a shout of finally making the breakthrough with the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Dominic Thiem absent.

The world No 5, who faces either Kevin Anderson from South Africa or Thiago Monteiro from Brazil in the second round, refuses to call himself one of the favourites.

“It is an opportunity, I won’t lie. It is an opportunity. There are plenty of good guys that aren’t in the top five that can play good tennis as well. I can see them as a threat, too,” he said.

“I don’t see myself as the favourite of the tournament. I like to enter a tournament with low expectations and build my way through.

“I have a pretty difficult draw despite all of this. I have matches that I will really have to fight hard and give my best.”

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