It is about 15,000 kilometres (9,000 miles) from Melbourne to Greece, however residence comforts are fuelling Stefanos Tsitsipas’s cost in direction of a maiden Grand Slam title on the Australian Open.
The 24-year-old world quantity 4 from Greece has loved fervent help in Melbourne, which has the most important Greek inhabitants in Australia.
Spectators bellowing for Tsitsipas and waving the Greek flag buoyed the third seed when he suffered a scare towards younger Italian Jannik Sinner on Sunday of their last-16 encounter.
Tsitsipas ultimately prevailed over 5 units at Rod Laver Area to arrange a quarter-final towards unseeded 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
Tsitsipas is revelling within the help as he bids to win a significant for the primary time, but it surely goes deeper than that.
“I grew up in a local weather that may be very related right here, from the place I come from in southwestern Athens,” Tsitsipas, one of many deeper-thinking males’s tennis gamers, mentioned.
“It all the time jogs my memory of residence a bit bit after I’m right here — the situations are related, it is not very humid, it is not very tropical. I can say it is much like the Athenian Riviera.
“Another excuse, one other plus, is wherever I look I see Greek faces, I see Greek folks talking Greek.
“In fact it is essential while you’re far-off from residence to have that type of feeling, to attach much more with the tradition that you just’re at.
“It feels very welcoming while you’re in a position to stroll round and really feel that.”
Tsitsipas has seen the draw open up for him, with seven of the highest 10 seeds — together with defending champion Rafael Nadal — out of the match.
It has left him as the best remaining seed and one of many favourites, though nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic may have one thing to say about that.
– ‘My residence Slam’ –
Tsitsipas’s finest efficiency at a significant was shedding the 2021 French Open ultimate to Djokovic over 5 units, having gained the opening two units.
He has been constantly aggressive on the Australian Open, reaching the semi-finals in three of the previous 4 years.
In return for the help he has acquired, Tsitsipas has endeared himself to Australians by peppering his interviews with snippets of the native lingo.
Following his thrilling victory over Sinner, Tsitsipas mentioned: “What an amazing night time. That was very good, ‘a ripper’ as they are saying right here.” Cue cheers and laughter.
He additionally talked about being impressed by Rod Laver, the Australian tennis nice who has the primary court docket named after him and was within the crowd at Rod Laver Area.
“I’d think about it my residence Slam,” he mentioned.
“The French folks have Roland Garros, the Brits have Wimbledon, the Individuals have (the) US Open.
“For me, it is the Australian Open.”