Stefanos Tsitsipas confident he will be fit for ATP Finals opener as he vows to set fresh goals for 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas warms up

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes he is heading in the right direction for his ATP Finals clash against Andrey Rublev following his “painful” arm injury.

There was an injury cloud hanging over the world No 4 ahead of the season-ending tournament in Turin as he withdrew from his second-round match at the Paris Masters last week due to injury.

However, he has declared himself ready for his round-robin encounter against Rublev on Monday evening, saying he is “feeling much better”.

“In Paris, the pain was unbearable, so I had to quit from that game,” the Greek said. “It was very painful for me to let the crowd down and not play. But I had to. It was for my safety, for my well-being, and I don’t regret doing that.

“The last couple of days I’ve been practising with a little bit of pain. But recently I’m feeling much better than I did when I started five-six days ago. It’s heading towards the right direction and I’m doing everything possible to recover from it.”

Tsitsipas finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the French Open while he reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open. He also won two titles, the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Lyon Open.

The 23-year-old is pleased with the progress he made in 2021, but is eyeing further improvement next year.

“The year has been really good,” he said.

“I started the year with the intention to eat better, to sleep better and to put my body in a better schedule. That was all for my tennis. I have achieved many things that I had set as goals from the beginning of the year.

“I’m going to have to take an extra step and try and aim for even higher next year and that will require new, fresh goals and also try becoming more professional and working to find that (extra) five per cent where I can benefit from.”