Even those not interested in sports in general have heard the name Novak Djokovic – such is his level of his success in the world of tennis. So it would make sense for an up-and-coming athlete to feel a sense of awe when being forced to face such a challenge in their first years as a professional athlete. However, this didn’t seem to be the case for 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Greek ace, who has had the highest ranking of number 315 in his career and just barely two years of professional tennis under his belt, stood up to Djokovic and did not let any of that affect him in any way. After all, on the court, they were just two men playing tennis and any past successes or failures they may have had, would be left right there until the game was over.
Tsitsipas showed his nerve right from the start, as he surprised Djokovic (and everyone else watching) with a 5-2 game lead. The Serbian tried to respond but it was already too late, and the first set ended up going to Tsitsipas (6-3). Djokovic realised what he was up against and turned his game on in the second set, giving the crowd a real nail-biter. It was all square on 4-4 when Tsitsipas attempted to break the world number ten’s service, however Djokovic endured and led the set to a tie-break, which he eventually won, to bring the game to a draw (6-7). But in the third and final set, Tsitsipas showed maturity that is beyond his age, maintaining a calm mind throughout and claiming a relatively easy win (6-3), shocking the entire tennis community.
After the game, the teenager dedicated his win to the victims of the recent fires in Attica by signing “pray for Greece” on one of the cameras that was covering the event. Tsitsipas will now move on to the quarter-finals of the “Rogers Cup” to fave Alexander Sverev, who recently knocked him out of the “Washington Open” semis.