MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Greek tennis ace Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20, is doing well in his run at the Australian Open so far and if he continues, a souvlaki will be named in his honor at Stalactites, a restaurant in Melbourne, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported.
The restaurant is one of Tsitsipas’ favorites, according to the AAP report, and in the past has only recognized one other tennis player, Greek Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, with a souvlaki named after him during Baghdatis’ impressive 2006 run. Then-unseeded Baghdatis made it to the final that year, but lost to Roger Federer in four sets.
If Tsitsipas wins his third round match, Stalactites will give him the whimsical honor.
The restaurant’s managing director, Nicole Papasavas, told AAP, “Stefanos is a massive sensation and if he does well, we’d love to name a souvlaki after him. Everyone likes their souvlaki a little bit different so we’d ask him what he likes and tailor it to his tastes.”
The Greek-Australian community has embraced the 14th seeded Tsitsipas, the highest ranking player in Greek tennis history, as well as fellow Greek Maria Sakkari, and fill the stands with blue and white flags to wave in support of these talented players.
Both Greek players will be in action on Friday as Tsitsipas faces Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia and Sakkari faces Australian Ashleigh Barty.
There is no word on whether Sakkari will also have a souvlaki named after her should she continue her run at the Open.
About the community support, Tsitsipas said, “Having the Greek community is really important, you saw it with Marcos – the best tournament of his life was here and I’m pretty sure it’s all because of the energy of the people and the Greek community in Melbourne,” AAP reported.