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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday May 1, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas

After a brilliant start to the 2021 clay-court season, Stefanos Tsitsipas says he still wants to improve and push his ranking higher.

Photo Source: Barcelona Open

Already leading the ATP’s pack in the Race to Turin, Stefanos Tsitsipas is setting his sights higher ahead of this months’ massively important clay court tournaments in Madrid and Rome.

Tennis Express

The 22-year-old Greek, who is seeded third at this week’s Madrid Open, says he is gunning for a career-high ranking and wants to finish the year inside the Top three.

“I'm really pumped for this week, for the next week as well,” Tsitsipas told reporters on Saturday. “I feel like I'm getting close. I feel like I can create opportunities and maybe get to No. 4. I won't lie, it's something that has been in my mind. I don't think there's something wrong with it mainly because I've been working hard, I've been putting a lot of work in. I feel like that's my opportunity to do something different.”

Tsitsipas leads the ATP in wins in 2021 (26-6) and he has started the clay-court season excellently, winning the title in Monte-Carlo and reaching the final in Barcelona where he held a championship pont against Rafael Nadal, before falling in three dramatic sets.

The Greek realizes it’s a long road, but he appears eager to continue taking steps to bring him closer to challenging for the biggest titles the sport has to offer.

“Of course, I'm far from there yet,” he said. “I have to get these matches going, produce better tennis. We'll have to fight again. It's a new week for me. It will a new week for me in Rome. All these tournaments are important. They carry a lot of points. These tournaments are kind of opportunities for me to pursue something better. Right now I'm in the lead of the Race to Turin, which is very important for me. I want to conserve that and finish the year perhaps in the top three. That would be a good, fair goal for me for this year.”

Tsitsipas told Tennis Now that he still wants to become a more aggressive player.

“I would like to be more consistent on my serve, play with high percentage of first serve,” he said. “I would like to see myself come more to the net and have a higher winning percentage on net points won. Stuff like this is something that I'm aiming for, setting my attention towards these small details that will help me become a more aggressive and more complete player.”

And most important, the World No.5 said he has learned a great deal from his defeat at the hands of Nadal in Barcelona.

“Sometimes I feel like I was too passive, thinking about it now. I could have risked a bit more,” he said. “I could have probably done few more unpredictable things that could have led to something different. That is something that I learned.”


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