Tsitsipas Back At ‘Home’ & Raring To Go
World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas broke new ground at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters last year when he soared to his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the clay-court event.
Returning to the Monte-Carlo Country Club this week, the Greek revealed he is feeling confident and excited to play in front of a supportive crowd as he aims to retain his title in Monaco.
“[I am] feeling great,” Tsitsipas said in his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. “Starting with the tournament here in Monte-Carlo, it feels [like] home for me to play on this court and having the opportunity this year to play in front of people and a massive crowd coming from both Italy and France.
“I have some supporters in Monaco. I have family here. It’s great sharing this with them and getting good weather hopefully all week long and a good series of tennis matches.”
Tsitsipas, who resides in Monte-Carlo, enjoyed a strong clay-court season in 2021. Alongside his Monte-Carlo victory, the 23-year-old triumphed in Lyon and advanced to the final at Roland Garros, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in five sets.
However, the 23-year-old is still aiming to win his first title of the season, with his best result this year coming in Rotterdam, where he soared to the championship match.
In preparation for his opening clash in Monte-Carlo against 2019 champion Fabio Fognini or Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, Tsitsipas hit with former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka, who is competing at his first tour-level event since March 2021.
On the return of Wawrinka, Tsitsipas was full of praise, saying: “Having practiced with Stan in the past, he can play good tennis. On his best days, he’s someone that can step on the court and do a lot of good things out there from everywhere around the court.”
Tsitsipas arrives in Monte-Carlo having competed at both hard-court Masters 1000 tournaments in March, advancing to the third round in Indian Wells and fourth round in Miami.
While the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals titlist enjoyed competing on hard in America, he is looking forward to playing on clay once again.
“I like the transition from hard to clay,” Tsitsipas added. “I enjoy switching from hard courts to clay courts. I always love coming back to the academy where I train and change my shoes and go back to the clay. It’s a good feeling.”