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Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

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Forced to choose between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer? It could be worse for a rising young tennis player, but nevertheless when rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas was pressed by reporters he didn’t exactly jump into making a choice.

Not easy.

“Why do you do this to me,” he asked the reporters, smiling.

But, earnest kid that he is, Tsitsipas thought deeply and tried to give his best and most honest answer about who he’d rather play doubles with: Roger or Rafa.

“I have to choose? Okay, I have to choose. Okay. Let me think of it. Such a difficult [question],” Tsitsipas said. “Okay. Two hours later, I guess. I'll pick...”

He’d need a few more moments to accurately express himself, in typical Tsitsipas fashion.

“I mean, look, I have been idolizing Federer since a young age, and having him as my doubles partner, it's a dream come true. Same stands for Nadal because of his energy on the court and how similar—I really feel similarity with Rafa. When I'm on the court, I feel like we have this Mediterranean connection, I would say, and very emotional, both of us."

But finally, Tsitsipas realized he had to give these hungry reporters something to chew on, and he did just that.

“But just because I grew up idolizing Federer, and not trying to be like him but trying to take few things that could help my career, as well, I will pick Federer,” he said.

No matter what the case, Tsitsipas is thrilled to have had the experience of playing alongside both Federer and Nadal in a 16-hour span in Geneva.

"I feel very overwhelmed bythis experience," he said. "I kind of want to have goosebumps,but it's not the momentum right now. I might appreciateit even more as time goes by. Just great athletes, both of them. It's like I got to play with both Rafa and Roger in less than 16 hours, which is unbelievable.It just makes me really -- it gave me the opportunity to see from their perspective when they're on the courthow they see everything, and it's quite interesting, very unique, and that's what makes them the greatest ever.

Their determination, their concentration, their skill, they are 100 percent in charge."