22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas has rapidly risen to fame on and off the tennis court.
It isn’t just the Greeks that should be proud, as there is a Russian vein that runs deep within the young player. He he is as proficient in the Russian language as he is in Greek.
Born in Athens, Tsitsipas is the son of Greek tennis coach dad Apostolos Tsitsipas and former Russian champ Julia Apostoli (nee Salnikova). Though both his parents are experienced tennis players, his mother was world no. 1 junior and had a high-flying career as a professional. Her father, Tsitsipas’ grandfather, was an Olympic gold medal-winning member of the Soviet national football team and a former manager of FC Spartak Moscow.
Tsitsipas first started playing from six years old at the Tennis Club Glyfada.
“My first memory is to be three and to hit balls with my father in the gap between lessons. I remember watching games on TV, as a baby, I can not tell you who was playing, but I remember watching,” he said in previous interviews.
Tsitsipas credits his mother’s twin sister, also a professional player for the Soviet Union, for helping the family so that he could afford to travel with his father and compete during his youth.
In no time he rose to the ranks of No. 1 junior. It was in 2016 when he had his ultimate breakout year, reaching at least the quarterfinals of all eight tournaments that he played, including all four Grand Slams.
Tsitsipas has taken the 2021 Australian Open by storm, beating out Gille Simon, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Mikael Ymer. Italian Matteo Berrettini pulled out of their fourth round match due to injury, taking Tsitsipas straight into the quarter finals where he miraculously came back from being two sets down to world no.2 Rafael Nadal.
Today at 7:30pm AEDT he faces Russian opponent Daniil Medvedev at Rod Laver Area.
Winner of the Australian Open double pass
Thanks to our friends at the Australian Open, one lucky Neos Kosmos reader was given a double pass to watch Tsitsipas try and break Russian Daniil Medvedev’s 19-match unbeaten run.
Within minutes of announcing the competition we received hundreds of entries.
Congratulations to Demitra Lazarakis!