Tsitsipas reins in social media, primed for ‘pain, hype’


BEIJING: Rising tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas said on Wednesday that he is reaping the benefits on and off the court of staying away from social media.

The 21-year-old Greek was speaking after defeating another promising talent, the 19-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime, to reach the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters.

Tsitsipas, who has won two titles this year but lost Sunday’s China Open final to Dominic Thiem, still has accounts on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

But he now lets someone else run them.

“I feel much more connected than before with people that I care about, I spend more quality time,” said the seventh-ranked Tsitsipas.

“I feel more human and more like me than ever before.

“I feel like I can also concentrate more in the sport that I play, in a way trying to spend more hours on the court instead of my phone.

“I also feel very attached to the people that I talk to, and I always try to get the best out of it and not think too much of my other life, the social media life, which at the time before took a lot of my thinking, a lot of my concentration.”

Wednesday’s tough 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3) victory was the first time that Tsitsipas had beaten the Canadian Auger-Aliassime in matches stretching back to when they were juniors.

Tsitsipas, who plays Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz next, said he will face more struggles if he is to challenge the established trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for Grand Slams.

“At some point we will see change — it can’t be that Rafa, Roger and Novak win everything,” he smiled.

“I know that in order to see my name among these titles I’m going to have to go through a lot of pain and a lot of hype and struggle.

“I’m honestly excited, I’m excited by the idea of trying to get there.”