French Open: Tsitsipas says fellow stars driving him to improve after cruising past Ymer

By Sports Desk May 28, 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas said the consistency of his rivals has pushed him to become a better athlete after he eased into the French Open's last-16 with a 6-2 6-2 6-1 win over Mikael Ymer.

Having fought back from two sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti in the first round before downing Zdenek Kolar in an absorbing four-set contest featuring three tie-breaks, the Greek enjoyed a more routine outing against the 23-year-old Swede.

Fourth seed Tsitsipas, who finished as runner-up at Roland Garros in 2021 after squandering a two-set final lead against Novak Djokovic, has been tipped for a serious tilt at a first Grand Slam title after landing on the opposite side of the draw to many of the pre-tournament favourites.

The world number four cannot meet any of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, or Carlos Alcaraz until the final, seemingly giving him a shot of atoning for his final disappointment last year.

After storming to a dominant win over Ymer, the 23-year-old said the excellence of tennis' fellow leading lights has motivated him to change his lifestyle to further his chances of success.  

"Well, I will tell you that I respect a lot the top three for having been so incredibly consistent the last couple of years," he told a post-match press conference.

"I have questioned myself, how do I become a better athlete? These guys have pushed me to become a better athlete. 

"I question myself, really, what can I add to my life that can eventually help me achieve more and do more, and do better in terms of my career. So, every day is a question: What can I add?

"Looking back on the diet that I had, let's say, three or four years ago, it's nothing compared to what I have now. In terms of fitness, this is something that I have questioned a lot, as well.

"And, of course, the balance between life and career. It hasn't been easy, but I kind of feel in better control of my life right now, being focused and having control around me without relying too much on other people's feelings."

Tsitsipas was only on court for an hour and 32 minutes in his third round win, and was pleased with making quicker progress than had been the case in his previous outings at the tournament.

"I had to do my job. I had to play my tennis. I wasn't really thinking of the ease that I could maybe create in terms of a result," he added.

"But with my good efforts, the way I committed myself to every single point individually, the end was good. I was able to create a good result today with some good tennis

"It's a good thing to have a match like this every now and then, I think. It was a good performance in ways."

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