THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I know it was tough, but what were sort of your impressions of the match from your end?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: He played very well, very fast. It seemed like he was really pumped and really energized today. I don’t know if he’s like this every time. I mean, most of the times that I played him he was like this. But it’s tough playing him. He has kind of a strange tempo in his game, and you always feel like he’s going to hit very hard, but then you don’t really know what to expect, how hard he’s going to hit the ball. So you’re always caught out of position. But he definitely played very well, and he deserves every single piece of that victory.
Q. The things you mentioned, does that mean that you find him a bad matchup for you? Do you think that in time if you play him more…
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think it was also just I was maybe a bit unlucky because I fell into an opponent that was playing really well the past few weeks. He played on clay courts. I played on hard. The conditions here are very similar to clay courts. The ball is jumping. There’s a big bounce, and I don’t know. Just it’s very similar to clay court game. And physically, I felt like he was very strong, prepared to, you know, for a battle. I never played well against him. I don’t know why. We all have, you know, a few opponents that we always struggle with and, I mean, he’s one of them. So, I mean, in the future I’m going to have to find solutions to that. Obviously, I don’t want to keep losing to him. But, you know, I’m going to try to work hard for that and be more hungry next time.
Q. 0 for 6 in break points in the first set. Obviously that could have changed things.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, it could have changed things. One specific moment that I remember very well was that one of the break points when I started the rally and I had maybe not an easy but a — I mean, a normal forehand. I could have finished and opened the court and missed the forehand. I felt like if I had made that one, I mean, few chances maybe the match changing or something, but it didn’t happen. So just I don’t know. I missed a few shots, and he never made any mistakes on those break points. He obviously waited for me.
Q. You seemed to take your serve further back in this match than I have ever seen you do before.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah.
Q. Talk about that.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: As I said, the ball was bouncing high. And when I was returning close from the baseline, I didn’t feel that much control of my ball. And he was hitting, I mean, so hard that I had to take some time and be well-prepared for the next shot. It felt like, I mean, he was taking the balls very early and didn’t give me much time. So his serve was also very — he was serving big today, and that was one of the solutions that I could come up with. It actually helped a little bit. I got closer to break points. I got seven break points, which I didn’t win, but I don’t know if I would get there if I would be returning close to the baseline.
Q. Do you think you were affected in any way by the two long weeks at Marseilles and Dubai, and in general do you think you’re going to have to adjust your scheduling as you start to go deeper into tournaments?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I mean, my mind at the moment is not very fresh. I feel like I had enough of tennis already, but still doesn’t mean anything. I mean, he deserved that victory. He won it by himself. I didn’t give it to him. But me, I mean, myself I would say that just so much tennis that when you do the same thing over and over again, your mind gets so tired and you’re not the same focused like before. And unfortunately, it happened here. I think taking some small break before Miami will probably help. But, I mean, I’m a bit disappointed because I really wanted to do well here. It’s a really nice place to get some good results and play well.
Q. I don’t know if you’re aware, but he played at 11:00 on the same court, same conditions, two days ago.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah.
Q. Do you think that helped him and you were playing your first match?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Maybe a little bit he found the momentum and tempo a bit earlier than me. He knew what to expect from the conditions. So I don’t know. Probably. Maybe. Yeah, he was very well prepared for that match. Hitting very hard, staying close from the baseline. And the balls were really — I mean, I’ve been struggling. I’ve been practicing already five, six days and still couldn’t kind of adjust to the balls, which are very — seemed to be a little bit out of control. When you hit, sometimes they fly a bit too much. Sometimes they don’t fly at all. So it’s a long time that I played with that tempo, so it takes quite some time to adjust to those balls.
Q. Okay. You said it’s been a lot of the tennis and your mind is feeling a bit tired. Do you have a sense of how you want to refocus and start playing fresh again for Miami?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: That’s what I want. That’s what I’m craving for.
Q. Do you know how you’re going to do it?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Maybe disconnect a bit from the sport and do something else, not even watch it at all. Like, don’t watch tennis at all. In our level of game, sometimes — I mean, in other jobs as well, when you do something, you know, with a lot of intensity and a lot of focus and a lot of will, sometimes your mind cannot keep up and you get tired. You cannot do the same thing over and over again. And that’s why I admire the players like Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal. They seem to be so consistent in all they’re doing. I don’t know. Probably mix it up. That’s the only solution, to be consistent. I don’t know. Don’t do the same thing. Just maybe serve and volley one day, the other one you can just stay back. It’s all of this variety in your game can probably help you be more fresh. I don’t know. I don’t know myself to be honest.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-09 21:51:00 GMT