Whether or not he really has banished the memories of his bitterly disappointing 2021 French Open final loss to Novak Djokovic, only Stefanos Tsitsipas truly knows.

But fans can be certain that Tsitsipas’s collapse from two sets to love up that Sunday afternoon in Paris 19 months ago will be driving the world No.4’s redemption attempt in Sunday night’s Australian Open final at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic said after his quarter-final win on Wednesday that he’d forgotten about playing Tsitsipas in that final, prompting two terse “I don’t remember” responses from the Greek when he was asked about the Serb’s claim.

Either way, Tsitsipas is refusing to dwell on the past as he bids to capture his maiden grand slam title in a winner-takes-all final that also offers both combatants the opportunity to capture the world No.1 ranking.

Tsitsipas says he’s ready to lay it all – and more – on the line in the Melbourne Park blockbuster against the nine-times Open champion.

“I’m playing great tennis. I’m enjoying myself. I just see no downside or negativity in what I’m trying to do out there,” he said.

“Even if it doesn’t work, I’m very optimistic and positive about any outcome, any opponent that I have to face.

“This is something that has been sort of lacking in my game. I genuinely believe in what I’m able to produce.

“That is more than enough. I go about this way. I strive for it every single day. It might not go the way I want it to, but I put 110 per cent out there.”

Four times a grand slam semi-final loser in addition to his runner-up showing at Roland Garros, Tsitsipas insists he “couldn’t be more ready for this moment”.

“This is a very humbling opportunity for me. Being in the finals here means a lot,” the 24-year-old said.

“Having started here as one of my first junior grand slams, and being now in the finals of the men’s event, is as important as my very first steps that I took on the tennis court.

“I’m going to grasp this opportunity and get myself ready for this big day.”

A former world No.1 junior, Tsitsipas says his ego has been fuelling his desire to be top of the men’s game since he was a child.

“I remember watching it on TV saying to myself, ‘I want to be there one day myself’. I want to recreate that feeling for me,” he said.

“I knew that’s a very long journey to get there. There are certain steps you have to take to give yourself the chance to be competing for something like this.

“But I very much believed it. First of all, it’s your ego that speaks. You either have it or not. As a kid, I was very confident.

“I proved myself over and over again that I’m actually good. I did finish as a junior No.1. Now I want to do it in the men’s side, in the men’s professional tennis, yeah.”

Source: AAP