NEW YORK – Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 22-year-old Greek tennis star was featured in Vogue magazine in an article titled “Mr. Personality” which finds him testing out a new pair of black Adidas sneakers on a clay court in suburban Paris ahead of his impressive run at this year’s French Open. Practicing hitting cones set up by his father/coach Apostolos, Tsitsipas “was hitting down-the-line forehand after down-the-line forehand, an exercise designed to improve his margins,” Vogue reported.
“He always wants to improve, no matter what he’s doing,” Nick Tzekos, Tsitsipas’ agent, told Vogie, as he was looking on. “I was with him yesterday, and he was like, ‘I’ve created my own font!’”
“In addition to being the third-ranked tennis player in the world, the youngest person in the ATP Top Ten, and the subject of countless dubious nicknames (the Greek God, Greece Lightning), Tsitsipas has, apparently, been finding time to get into graphic design,” Vogue reported, adding that “unusually for a professional athlete of his caliber, he cultivates extracurricular talents and sundry passions, remaining open to the world from the closed circuit of his sport.”
“I think growth starts from outside the tennis court, and then it goes into my tennis,” he told Vogue.
Tsitsipas eventually made it to the final at the French Open but was defeated in five sets by the world’s number one player, Novak Djokovic.
“Born in Athens in 1998, Tsitsipas grew up in the seaside suburb of Vouliagmeni,” Vogue reported, noting that “he picked up tennis as a three-year-old at the local club, where both his father and his mother, Julia, a Soviet-born former professional player, worked as instructors.”
“Stefanos is the eldest of four Tsitsipas children: His brother and doubles partner, Petros, recently joined the ATP tour, while their younger siblings, Pavlos and Elisavet, are on the junior circuit,” Vogue reported, adding that “from childhood, Stefanos was different: quiet, comfortable in solitude, as introverted as he is personable now.”
“At some point, the teachers were worried, and they even asked me if maybe we should do some kind of special test,” Apostolos told Vogie, adding that “he’s a dreamer.”
“Today, Tsitsipas’ quirky disposition is one of his biggest assets, in addition to the blazing forehand, a killer serve, and unusual versatility on all of the sport’s surfaces,” Vogue reported.
Apostolos told Vogue: “His uniqueness helps him to handle all the thousands of pieces of information that are coming in while he’s playing matches.”
“The day before his practice session, Tsitsipas was sitting in a ballroom at the same country club, chatting animatedly on pretty much any subject that happened to come up,” Vogue reported, noting that “in addition to English, he speaks Greek and Russian fluently, and knows a decent amount of French, Portuguese, and Spanish.”
He shared his “thoughts on taking a nutrition class on the online learning platform Coursera,” and “on Matt D’Avella’s documentary about minimalism (‘I feel like decluttering is good’), as well as on “essential oils (‘I love lavender and always have it in my apartment’) and detoxing from social media (where he once posted competitor and friend Nick Kyrgios’ phone number as a birthday prank),” Vogue reported.
“There’s a salad that I find really underrated, and that’s the Cretan salad… I would love this salad to be more in the spotlight,” Tsitsipas said, when “asked about a tweet in which he called for the abolition of the Caesar,” Vogue reported.
Tsitsipas’ YouTube channel is “where he frequently shares travel vlogs with an audience of nearly 180,000 subscribers,” Vogue reported, adding that “he does most of his own production.”
Tsitsipas described a wild night in Dubai: “I never drink… but during my preseason, things kind of went out of control,” Vogue reported, noting that “there was Peruvian food, along with some Moscow Mules and Cosmopolitans (‘not a very manly drink, but I enjoy it’).
“That was probably the first time I experienced being drunk,” Tsitsipas told Vogue, adding that “I have a saying that I really believe, and that doesn’t translate only into my tennis, which is to go after every single day.”
“One of Tsitsipas’ goals for 2021 was to win a Masters 1000 tournament, which he did in April in Monte Carlo (where he now lives), becoming the first Greek ever to do so,” Vogue reported.
“My goal for this year is to finish the season with a lot of wins,” he told Vogue before Roland Garros. “I don’t know whether that’s 50, 60, or 70. I don’t care how many, but I want to be at the top of the Most Wins leader of the year.”
At the time of the interview, he had 33 wins and had earned more than $1.5 million in prize money, Vogue reported.
“Last year, at a post-match press conference, Tsitsipas admitted that he ‘sometimes feels like my parents are too involved in my life,’” Vogue reported, adding that “then, at his next press conference, his mom showed up and playfully lobbed a question from the back row (‘Hi, Stef; now I’m following you to the press conference to make sure I’m aware how you feel’).”
Of his “emerging independence,” he told Vogue, “I’m a grown-up now… I’m not a boy anymore. When I turned 21, I felt like, you know, things have changed.”
“With some help from his girlfriend, Theodora Petalas, an NYU graduate with a degree in project management, he even has some new outfits,” Vogue reported.
“My wardrobe was quite weak, and I didn’t have a game there,” he told Vogue. “I wanted to start dressing up a bit, so we tried to create an identity… I started investing more in fashion, and I’ve seen that transition kind of benefit me a lot and make me feel better about myself.”
“Things seem to be working my way… If I keep putting in the same amount of work and if I stay persistent, I feel it can lead to a really nice place I haven’t been before,” Tsitsipas told Vogue.