Stefanos Tsitsipas confident he will eventually get to No 1 in the world: ‘I’m here for the marathon’

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action

Stefanos Tsitsipas came up just short in his quest to be the world No 1 in tennis, but he believes his consistency, hard work and dedication will eventually help him to achieve the feat.

The Greek started the season-ending ATP Finals as one of three players who could finish the 2022 season as the year-end No 1, but his defeat in his opening match in Turin ended his hopes.

He ultimately finished the year at No 4, behind Carlos Alcaraz, Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud.

“There are a few things I can improve and manage better in order to get there, but overall if you think about it, I was literally two matches away (from) finishing (as) world No 1,” he told Arab News.

“If I would have won 63 instead of 61 matches — but of course selective, if I had to select which matches I should have won, I could have ended No 1 this season. So that is to show that I was extremely close to get that privilege of being world No 1.”

Tsitsipas nevertheless had a decent season as he won the Monte-Carlo Masters and Mallorca Championships, finished runner-up at five events – including two ATP Masters 1000 tournaments – and was a semi-finalist at the Australian Open.

He finished the campaign with a 61-24 win-loss record and there is no doubt in his mind that his consistency and efforts will eventually pay off.

“I think maintaining that kind of base and taking the right initiatives tournament after tournament is eventually going to give it to me one day,” he said of the No 1 ranking.

“But I’m not here really for the sprint, I’m here for the marathon. I’m going to be on the tour for many more years and finishing in the top 10 is no easy feat, and it’s extremely challenging to be doing it year after year.

“You need consistent good results to get there, you need to be very focused on your job and have zero to no distractions during the year and you have to be a soldier. You have to wake up thinking about tennis and be extremely disciplined in what you do and include that with some hard work and some dedication to your craft. It never gets easier.

“You might want to make it easier in your mind, you try to find small exits and ways to make this process easier, but trust me it never gets easier. You cannot cheat codes on the ATP Tour to make your way through.”

The world No 4 will return to action next week as he will take part in the exhibition Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which runs from December 16-18 in Abu Dhabi.

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