After going out in the round-robin stage of the ATP Finals, Stefanos Tsitsipas opened up on the struggles of life in a bubble, which has become the new normal on the tennis tour.
“To me it feels very, very dark,” said the 22-year-old, who lost 4-6, 6-4, 2-6 to Rafael Nadal on Thursday evening. “And honestly, I’m not a person who sees the dark side of things.”
“This whole thing was very difficult to handle. I’m very happy that I didn’t break down, and I’m sure if you ask other players they are going to respond the same way,” said Tsitsipas about living in tournament bubbles ever since the Tour resumed in August with the Cincinnati Masters.
“It gets tiring after a while. Think of yourself sitting in a hotel room waiting for your match all day long, not having the ability to go anywhere.
“Of course they try to entertain you with some things they put in the players lobby or the players’ lounge. But people need space. It’s difficult to be in your hotel, room service all day long.”
Tsitsipas made his breakthrough into the big league last year. He defeated Roger Federer at the Australian Open en route his first major semi-final appearance. The Greek youngster then defeated Dominic Thiem in three thrilling sets to claim the season-ending ATP Finals.
But he has been unable to maintain the momentum in the Coronavirus-affected season. The highlight this year for him was reaching the French Open last four for the very first time.
But the Greek went out of the US Open after holding six match points against Borna Coric and was unable to defend his ATP Finals title.
“2020 was a very, I would say, unfulfilling year simply because of the situation that we had to face,” he said.
“I had some good results. Some bad losses. Some new things that happened to me that I hadn’t faced in the past. Some really annoying things and some beautiful things, as well.
“I will try and forget the negatives, because who needs negativity in this world? Just looking at the bright side of it.
“Trying to get to the end of the tunnel and see something better in the near future,” Tsitsipas concluded with his typically philosophical flourish.
The Greek will finish the year ranked No 6 in the world. He compiled a 28-12 win-loss record in 2020 and won the Marseille Open.