Stefanos Tsitsipas makes French Open favourite claim as he also issues ‘strange’ top 10 admission

Ewan West
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece trains on Day Four of the Mutua Madrid Open 2024 tournament at La Caja Magica
Stefanos Tsitsipas during a practice session

Stefanos Tsitsipas divulged that he sees himself as one of the favourites to win this year’s French Open ahead of his appearance at the Italian Open. 

The two-time Grand Slam finalist also described his “strange” experience of dropping out of the top 10 of the ATP Rankings earlier this year.

Tsitsipas will face either Jan-Lennard Struff or Pedro Cachin in his opening match at the Italian Open, where he is seeking to continue his strong clay-court season.

The world No 8 started his campaign on his favourite surface by winning his third title at the Monte Carlo Masters last month — defeating Casper Ruud in the final. The Greek was then beaten by Ruud in a rematch in the Barcelona Open title match the following week.

At last week’s Madrid Open, Tsitsipas suffered a disappointing straight-set upset loss to Thiago Monteiro in the second round.

Despite that defeat, his record on clay is an impressive 10-2 this year heading into Rome and he is being discussed as a contender for the French Open title.

There are question marks over the fitness of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz — two of the leading two contenders — ahead of the clay-court Major, after the pair both withdrew from the Italian Open through injury.

READ MORE: Jannik Sinner faces ‘decisive few days’ in bid to be fit for French Open as he turns to Juventus medical centre

Tsitsipas was a runner-up at Roland Garros in 2021, when he lost to Novak Djokovic in a five-set championship match after leading by two sets to love.

In an interview with Corriere dello Sport in Rome, Tsitsipas was asked if he feels like a favourite to win this year’s French Open.

“Let’s say yes, but I start to see myself as a potential champion when I reach the semi-finals. There I begin to have possibilities of achieving my dream,” he explained.

“Although first, there are many competitive rivals and I believe in match by match, which is not a cliché and I think that also applies to champions like [Rafael] Nadal.”

The 25-year-old also spoke about falling out of the top 10 in February, having been a mainstay in this elite group over the past five years.

“If you saw how excited I was in Monte Carlo, you will understand how much it meant to me. Leaving the top 10 was strange,” Tsitsipas said.

“First you feel like the CEO of a company and suddenly you are an employee again. The top 10 is an exclusive club and you realise its value when you are no longer there.

“It is true that it is just a number, but for us tennis players it means a lot. I hope I can do even more and be in the top five. I only have one career and I want to make the most of it.”

READ MORE: Paula Badosa makes first public comments about Stefanos Tsitsipas split