Stefanos Tsitsipas feels at home playing in Spain

Stefanos Tsitsipas during a match

Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas says that Spain is the closest he can come to playing a home event on the ATP Tour right now.

Tsitsipas says that Spain reminds him a lot of Greece and the cultures are similar.

He says that Spain has always been very warm and welcoming to him.

“Similarity in culture, similarity in a lot of things like food. Spain’s a very welcoming place and a very good destination for tennis,” Tsitsipas said.

“I’ve always felt good playing here. “Greece hasn’t had the privilege of hosting any tennis tournaments yet. So Spain is the closest to Greece for me. That’s probably why I’ve played well here.”

Tsitsipas added that his run in Barcelona has given him a big confidence boost after he failed to follow up his appearance in the Australian Open final in the following tournaments.

”It’s getting good. I’ve had a lot of matches now on clay,” Tsitsipas said.

“I consider myself a candidate for this tournament in terms of having good results. The run I had in Barcelona brought me joy because after the Australian Open I didn’t go deep in tournaments. Now I’ve had a first glimpse of what it is to be strong again. Things are looking pretty bright.”

Tsitsipas has identified Carlos Alcaraz as the clear tournament favourite in Madrid.

“It’s a long road to get to that point,” Tsitsipas said.

“We have two weeks here. I have to practise to improve things, that’s the only way that I know to change something in the future. I don’t have any other solutions for beating a player who’s a big obstacle for me.

“Carlos is someone who works extremely hard, you can see his flexibility on the court, his speed is immense. He’s someone who has so much focus and a dedication to the sport that’s tough to find. In order to get there, I’d have to spend hours on the court practising, also hours in the gym working out and hours in my room analysing my past performances and trying to get better.”

Tsitsipas knows that it will be a tough road to the title at the Madrid Open.

“I’d have to work extremely hard in every match that I play to get the result that I want. And that is a series of matches that I would have to do back-to-back in order to get to that potential final that I’m looking for,” Tsitsipas said.

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“A lot of players are in good shape right now, a lot of players are putting in the work. I’ve played a few matches in the last few weeks that give me a perspective of where my strong weapons are and how I can win points on clay.

”Of course, here we’re dealing with a little bit of altitude, which is a different scenario than Barcelona. I’m getting adjusted to that. It’s something that I’ve done pretty well in the past few years. I like the altitude, I think it’s good for my game. I see that as a small advantage.”