Stefanos Tsitsipas on being within touching distance of No 1 spot: ‘I like that number. It’s all about you’

Stefanos Tsitsipas lift off

Stefanos Tsitsipas will not only be gunning for his maiden Grand Slam title when he plays in the Australian Open final on Sunday, but he will also be looking to fulfil a childhood dream by clinching the No 1 spot in the ATP Ranking.

The third seed produced a solid display on Friday to defeat Karen Khachanov in the semi-final at Rod Laver Arena to secure his place in the final of the season-opening Grand Slam at Melbourne Park for the first time in his career.

The victory also saw him move up to a provisional career-high of No 2 in the Live Rankings, but he has bigger fish to fry as victory in the showpiece match will see him become No 1 for the first time.

He will face either 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, who is gunning for a 10th title in Australia, or the unseeded Tommy Paul, but only victory will be good enough to secure the No 1 spot.

Tsitsipas also had a chance to become world No 1 at the season-ending ATP Finals in November, but his hopes were ended during the round-robin phases.

But he has another chance on Sunday to realise his childhood dream.

“I like that number. It’s all about you, it’s singular. It’s one,” the 24-year-old said after his win over Khachanov.

“These are the moments that I have been working hard for. To be able to able to play in finals like this, finals that have a bigger meaning, it’s a Grand Slam final, I am fighting for the No 1 spot.

“It’s a childhood dream to capture that No 1 spot one day. I am close. I am happy that the opportunity comes here in Australia and not somewhere else as this is a place of significance.

“Let’s do it guys, let’s go!”

Carlos Alcaraz is currently No 1 in the world, but the Spaniard was unable to compete at the Australian Open due to injury. He will move to 6,730 points once the rankings are updated on Monday.

Victory for Tsitsipas on Sunday will put him on 6,995 points while a Djokovic win will see the Serbian return to the top for a seventh stint as No 1.

Tsitsipas’ previous Grand Slam final appearance came at Roland Garros in 2021 when he was beaten in five sets by Djokovic after leading by two sets to love.

READ MORE: ATP world No 1 ranking: Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas left in race to dethrone Carlos Alcaraz