Stefanos Tsitsipas feels ‘fantastic’ and is ready to face the 2022 season

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Former world No 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas is determined to have a highly successful year when the new tennis season kicks off in January.

The Greek faced an injury blow at the end of the 2021 campaign when he was forced to pull out of the ATP Finals with an elbow issue – British player Cameron Norrie was drafted in to take his place.

This was a disappointing end to what was shaping into a great season for the 23-year-old, he had managed to reach a career high of world No 3 in the rankings making him the highest-ranked Greek player in history.

He also made it to his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros in June and won his first Masters 1000 title by claiming victory at the Monte-Carlo Masters, but he’s now ready to step it up a gear after recovering from injury.

“My elbow is fantastic – the goal is definitely to go even higher, I hope the preparation goes well and that the new year will be three times better than this season,” Tsitsipas told Greek TV channel ANT1.

“Overall I’m happy with where I stand and I think I’m going to have to take an extra step and try and aim for even higher next year.

“That will require new fresh goals and also trying to improve when it comes to becoming more professional and working to find where the one percent lies, or the five percent where I can benefit from it, and I will of course have my team to help me get to that five percent that I’m looking for.”

The multiple title winner had a tough few weeks before he abruptly ended his season at the ATP Finals as he also had to pull out of the Paris Masters in his opening match due to concerns over his safety and well-being as the pain from his elbow was overwhelming him.

He explained: “In Paris the pain was unbearable so I had to quit from that match – I’ve never retired in a match, it was very painful for me to let the crowd down and not play in that match.

“But I had to, it was for my safety, my wellbeing, and I don’t regret doing that – in the last couple of days I have been practising with a little bit of pain but recently I’m feeling much better than when I started five or six days ago.

“It’s heading toward the right direction and I’m doing everything possible to recover from it.”

The 2022 season starts with the ATP Cup for Tsitsipas which gets underway from January 1 and he’ll be leading the Greek team who will face their group consisting of Georgia, Argentina and Poland.