‘I’m happy I didn’t break down’ – Stefanos Tsitsipas admits he is struggling to accept the new normal

Stefanos Tsitsipas disappointed

Stefanos Tsitsipas has admitted he struggled to deal with many aspects of the new world order in recent months after he bowed out of the ATP Finals following a defeat against Rafael Nadal.

Tsitsipas saw his defence of the title he won in glorious fashion in front of a raucous London crowd last year ended in silence, as an empty 02 Arena looked down on his three-set defeat against world No.2 Nadal.

Yet it was his post-match press conference that offered up a glimpse of the discomfort the Greek star has endured after tennis resumed following the Covid-19 shutdown.

With players forced to live in sporting bubbles and their movement severely restricted, Tsitsipas confessed he has done well to “hold it together” as he strggled to deal with a life lacking the familiar contact with friends and family.

“To me, it felt very dark. I’m not a person who sees that dark side of things, but this whole thing was very difficult to handle, to be honest with you,” he stated.

“I’m very happy that I didn’t break down, and I’m sure if you ask other players, they are going to respond the same way.

“It gets tiring after a while. Think of yourself sitting in a hotel room waiting for your match all day long, not having the ability to go anywhere.

“Of course they try to entertain you with some things they put in the players lobby or the players’ lounge. But people need space. It’s difficult to be in your hotel, room service all day long.

“Technology obviously helps us connect easier than ever. We all know that. I think I’m grateful that I’m able to be with the people that I love every single day by giving them a call or FaceTiming them.

“I will try and forget the negatives, because who needs negativity in this world? Just looking at the bright side of it. Trying to get to the end of the tunnel and see something better in the near future.

“It’s a different world, I would describe it. Very lonely.”

Players competing in the ATP Finals have been living in a hotel next to the 02 Arena, with no access to anyone outside the sporting bubble that was imposed as part of the conditions that has ensured the tournament could be played in London amid Covid-19 restrictions.

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