'Quite hectic': Tennis ace spills beans on 'complicated' family dilemma

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Stefanos Tsitsipas, his mum Julia and father Apostolos.
Stefanos Tsitsipas' mum Julia and father Apostolos give plenty of input into the Greek star's game. Pic: Getty/Instagram

Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas admits that having a mother and father that are so knowledgeable and passionate about his game can get a little full on at times.

The World No.6 sealed his spot in the French Open semi-finals after defeating Russian Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-2 6-3 in the last eight at Roland Garros.

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Victory for Tsitsipas sets up a mouthwatering semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic, after the World No.1 survived an injury scare to beat Pablo Carreno Busta in their quarter-final.

Fifth seed Tsitsipas is coached by his father Apostolos but his mother is never far from his side and travels around the world watching her son play.

She famously gave her son a telling off at the ATP Cup at the start of the year when the young Tsitsipas accidentally hit his father after swinging a racquet in anger during a match against Nick Kyrgios.

Tsitsipas's father has been a regular at Roland Garros, wearing a mask bearing an image of his son, but the 22-year-old also has his mother Julia in Paris for this year's clay court grand slam.

The 22-year-old confessed after his victory against Rublev, however, that his mum's knowledge of the sport can be somewhat of an information overload for him at times.

He told reporters after the quarter-final victory that conflicting messages from his two parents can often be problematic.

"My mom, she knows a lot about tennis," Greece's Tsitsipas, who is also guided by Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou, told reporters with a smile.

"Sometimes it can be a bit complicated when she wants to give her own opinion or advice direct to me, then have my dad tell me something else.

"We've sat down and we said, 'Guys, that's my coach. Whatever opinions or whatever thoughts you have, has to be filtered through Apostolos, my father'. It can get quite hectic.

"Obviously the presence of Patrick, we are a strong, united team. My mom is also a small part of it. She brings a lot to the team, a lot of energy, a lot of good vibes. She is lovely."

Seen here, Tsitsipas throws his arms up in triumph after his French Open quarter-final.
Tsitsipas celebrates his quarter-final win at the French Open. Pic: Getty

Greek star inspired by good friend Thiem

Tsitsipas was quick to dismiss suggestions he was part of the 'next gen' of tennis, insisting guys like him self and Dominic Thiem have firmly established themselves among the top echelon of players in the sport.

Tsitsipas, who used to skip school to watch the French Open on TV, has also long been marked out as a future prospect and made his second grand slam semi-final on Wednesday, after reaching the same stage at last year's Australian Open.

Austrian Thiem, with whom Tsitsipas is good friends, became the first player outside of tennis's 'Big Three' of Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer to win a grand slam since 2016 when he claimed the US Open last month.

The Greek star admits that seeing Thiem finally take that significant next step in his career is a driving factor for his own game.

"Dominic inspires me a lot. What Dominic has achieved is amazing," Tsitsipas said.

"Being able to have back-to-back finals here at the French is truly inspiring. Dominic is someone that makes me understand the game and makes me want to push even further to reach what he has reached.

"He's a nice guy off the court. Big workaholic on the court. He's very balanced and a very passionate person in every aspect. I think I can learn a lot from him and add it to my game. From the young guys, he's someone that I really look up to."

Tsitsipas feels he is on the right track to achieve his dream of grand slam success.

"I'm expecting since a young age to potentially triumph at these grand slams. I'm happy that I'm able to be in a position where I am today. Yeah, it's very, very satisfying," he said.

"I think I can learn from the previous one. I'm chasing something spectacular."

with AAP

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