A closer look at Stefanos Tsitsipas after he knocked Roger Federer out of the Australian Open


Stefanos Tsitsipas thrust himself firmly into the global spotlight with victory over Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The 20-year-old Greek defeated the two-time defending champion 6-7 (11), 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5) to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

Here, we bring you the lowdown on the world number 15.

Tennis Runs In The Blood

It is no surprise that Tsitsipas has ended up being a tennis player. Both of his parents are heavily involved in the game.

His father Apostolos is his coach, while his mother Julia Apostoli was ranked world number one as a junior and had a career-high professional ranking of 194.

Apostolos and Julia met at a WTA tournament when she was competing and he was a line judge.

His grandfather Sergei Salnikov, meanwhile, was a professional footballer and former manager of Spartak Moscow.

Near-Death Experience

Tsitsipas attributes his mental strength and fearless approach on court partly to an experience in Crete in 2015 when he nearly drowned.

While playing in a third-tier Futures tournament, Tsitsipas and a friend went for a swim in the sea, but underestimated the strength of the current.

2019 Australian Open - Day 7

He told The Times: “We couldn’t breathe, I felt awful to be inside the water and was terrified. I didn’t know how all this was going to end. My father saw us from afar and he jumped in, started swimming towards us and pushed us towards the beach. I was just a few breaths away from dying.”

YouTube Fanatic

Tsitsipas is not your average 20-year-old.

Rather than playing video games, he likes to spend his time away from the court exploring the place he is in and documents his travels via vlogs on his YouTube channel.

These are shot not on a phone, but with expensive camera equipment and he edits them himself.

His Twitter feed, meanwhile, sees him frequently post philosophical quotes. Tsitsipas’ different approach to life has made him a target for Nick Kyrgios on social media.

Best Greek Player Ever

Tsitsipas is already the best Greek male tennis player in history.

He is the first Greek player, man or woman, to reach the quarter-finals at a Slam and last year became the first Greek man to win an ATP Tour title when he claimed the trophy in Stockholm.

He and his countrywoman Maria Sakkari, who made the third round, have been cheered on vociferously by Melbourne’s large Greek population.


Senior Breakthrough

This may be Tsitsipas’ Grand Slam breakthrough, but he has been a name to look out for for some time.

He was ranked world junior number one in 2016, reaching the semi-finals of the boys’ tournaments at Wimbledon and the US Open and winning the Wimbledon doubles title.

He had his senior breakthrough in Toronto last summer when he defeated Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson back-to-back to reach his first Masters final.

He then finished the year by winning the Next Gen ATP Finals for players aged 21 and under.

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