Stefanos Tsitsipas will be hoping to capitalize on his Monte-Carlo Masters win this week in Barcelona as he reveals it holds special memories for him.
Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 event last week in Monte-Carlo, following an immaculate competition in which he didn't lose a single set all week and he comes into Barcelona full of confidence.
But while he will be hoping to carry this run of form into the coming week, he also took time to reminisce about the 2018 Barcelona event which he says started his journey.
Tsitispas reached the final of the ATP 500 in Barcelona when he was ranked just 63th in the world. Unfortunately for him, a formidable Rafael Nadal stopped him from taking the title, but the Greek looks back on it with fondness.
“My first final here was the beginning of my journey on the ATP Tour and I had a great run,” Tsitsipas said.
“I would say back then I was 18, 19 years old. I just got introduced to the ATP Tour and having a run like this was at the top of my appearances.”
In the final, Nadal was relentless, losing only three games all match, winning 6-2, 6-1, but the world number five says it taught him a valuable lesson.
“It didn't go my way, but I think I learned a lot from that match."
On whether Rafael Nadal can once again go all the way in Barcelona to claim a 12th title, Tsitsipas says he would be happy with even half of that.
"He (Nadal) seems to be liking the conditions here in Barcelona, so it's quite amazing,” Tsitsipas said.
“The 11 titles that he has had here in Barcelona [are] very inspiring. I really hope I can get half of that one day.”
Both Nadal and Tsitsipas start their Barcelona event today. Nadal takes on qualifier Ilya Ivashka and Tsitsipas plays wildcard entry Jaume Munar.
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