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Australian Open 2023 – John McEnroe praises Stefanos Tsitsipas: “His forehand is deadly”

Four three-set wins, a five-set duel and a cheeky invitation to the Australian actress Margot Robbie – Stefanos Tsitsipas feels very comfortable in Melbourne, that becomes clear in every match and in every interview.

“He’s playing better than he has in a long time. If Stefanos puts everything together, he can win the title,” says John McEnroe speaking to Eurosport. “The forehand is deadly,” said the tennis icon.

Eurosport expert Boris Becker sees it the same way, the forehand has become “the handwriting” of his game. Most recently, the challenger Jiri Lechecka felt in the quarter-finals how much pressure and precision Tsitsipas builds up over the forehand.

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The Greek’s mission is clear: after three semi-final appearances in 2019, 2021 and 2022, he wants to make it to the final for the first time in his favorite Grand Slam – and bag the first major title of his career.

Tsitsipas: “Australian Open my home Grand Slam”

“I grew up in a place that is similar to here in terms of conditions and lifestyle. The French players have the French Open, the British have Wimbledon, the Americans have the US Open. For me, the Australian Open is my home grand Slam, I feel at home here,” emphasized Tsitsipas.

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But there are still two milestones in Melbourne: If the fourth in the world rankings wins the event, he will replace Carlos Alcaraz as number one in the ATP ranking.
Only: The designated dream final against record champion Novak Djokovic is anything but bagged, as McEnroe points out. Semi-final opponent Karen Khachanov is currently playing “the tennis of his life”.

McEnroe exclusive: “Tsitsipas’ forehand is deadly”

Nevertheless, Tsitsipas is the favorite and also goes into the match with the advantage of a flawless 5-0 record from the direct comparison.

McEnroe praises: Philippoussis is good for Tsitsipas

McEnroe sees the new addition to the coaching team as a real factor in the current high. Tsitsipas has been training with Australian ex-pro Mark Philippoussis for the past year.

Becker analyzes Tsitsipas: “Forehand has become his handwriting”

“It brought a good balance to the team,” says McEnroe. So far, Tsitsipas has been coached by his father Apostolos, who now shares the job with Philippoussis.

How solid Tsitsipas is was shown in the round of 16 against Jannik Sinner. Despite a 2-0 set lead, the Greek had to go into the fifth round, but then he was back. Tsitsipas did not allow the South Tyrolean a breakball, took the service from his opponent to make it 4: 2 and closed the sack a little later.

Tsitsipas – the experience becomes a plus

“Stefanos worked very hard in the off-season,” Philippoussis told the Australian newspaper The Age, praising his protégé’s enthusiasm for training, which is now paying off. Tsitsipas himself cited his “experience” as a real plus these days, after all, at the age of 24 he was in the semifinals of a major competition for the sixth time.

Forgot the final against Tsitsipas: Djokovic makes people laugh

In addition, Tsitsipas can count on Melbourne’s large Greek community, which is passionately supportive of the Athenian. He masters the game with the audience and the emotions anyway.

Tsitsipas invites actress Robbie

After his quarterfinal win, he slyly let on-court interviewer Jim Courier know that he had a soft spot for actress Margot Robbie.

When asked if this was an invitation to the 32-year-old, Tsitsipas answered with a hearty “Absolutely” to the delight of the fans.

Maybe Robbie, known from films like “The Wolf of Wall Street”, will actually be sitting in the stands on Sunday when there should be a showdown between Tsitsipas and Djokovic…

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