French Open: Emotional Tsitsipas rues 'ridiculous' performance after last-16 exit

By Sports Desk May 30, 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas branded his performance against Holger Rune "ridiculous", admitting he allowed his frustrations to get the better of him on court during his shock last-16 exit at the French Open.

Having finished as runner-up at Roland Garros last year, the fourth seed crashed out in the fourth round this time around, going down 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-4 to the Danish teenager, who had only managed one previous win over a top-five opponent. 

The three-hour contest began with Tsitsipas earning an early break, but the Greek went on to struggle against the 19-year-old, who became the first Danish player to reach a grand slam quarter-final during the open era.

Speaking during his post-match press conference, a visibly emotional Tsitsipas admitted he struggled to apply enough pressure on Rune, highlighting his own lack of rhythm on court.

"Great match from his side, but I have to say it was a very bad management from my side," he said.

"I was struggling a lot the last couple of days in terms of finding my rhythm. I was very nervous on the court, being frustrated a lot, and I knew I was this way, but I couldn't stop being like this.

"I was a completely different player once I stepped into the court, taking returns [too] early.

"I think we could see that in the last two service games of his, I was really able to apply a lot of pressure; it was day and night, pretty much, that transformation.

"I just, you know, didn't have my mind completely there when I had to make those changes. It came way too late on in that match, way too late.

"I wasn't really applying a lot of pressure, it was ridiculous at a point, and again I was stubborn, I was stubborn to change it. I need to adjust way quicker, it's too late for this stuff."

Tsitsipas, who squandered a two-set lead in his 2021 final defeat to Novak Djokovic in the French capital, had been tipped by many to repeat his run to the final after landing on the opposite side of the draw to pre-tournament favourites Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

But the Greek refuted suggestions the pressure that comes with a supposedly kinder draw had hindered his performances, telling reporters: "Absolutely not. I don't watch draws, I don't watch my next opponents. 

"I pretty much know the progress and the way I need to do things in order to get to where I was last year, and that doesn't come easy, for sure.

"Of course, I knew I'm going to have to play difficult opponents that know how to play on this surface, but mentally, physically, tennis-wise, I felt good.

"It's just that I had a few troubles in practice. Again, back to frustration, back to not understanding certain things and certain patterns that I was trying to impose.

"He [Rune] is a very emotional player, he can play great, he absolutely deserves this victory, [he] played better, faced tough moments better. But I can see something different next time with this opponent. I'm pretty convinced I can do way better.

"This is not where I've maxed out, let's say. I didn't give myself the opportunity to max out. I didn't give myself the opportunity to go all the way and that is a shame."

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