Stefanos Tsitsipas has said he feels humbled that he is able to compete along with the big three for the big titles after winning his first Masters event.
It was the third Masters 1000 final for Ttisipas in Monte-Carlo last week, after losing the first two to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
But after an immaculate week, which saw the Greek not drop a single set, Tsitispas beat Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-3 to claim his first Masters title.
The win had additional meaning to the world number five because it is as the same venue that his mother, Julia Salnikova, won the junior title in 1981.
Now Tsitsipas, who has six ATP titles including the Nitto ATP finals in 2019, says being able to compete for these titles, is the reason he chose tennis at all.
"It feels like a very big moment," Tsitsipas said.
"It's in the back of my head that I really enjoy the feeling this title gave me, and I've wanted this for a long time."
“That's the reason I chose this sport: I always wanted to be close to winning these titles,” Tsitsipas said.
“It's also the reason why I love tennis from a young age. I saw all these amazing players like Nadal, [Roger] Federer and [Novak] Djokovic play in these Masters series events and the Grand Slams and I wanted to be like them. To be in that position is more than humbling.”
The win also means that Tsitsipas is now in pole position for the end of the year finals, something else that is spurring him on to great success.
“Right now, being in the top position of the Race, that's very important to me and I think I can somehow take advantage of it and see it as a great thing to have behind me,” Tstisipas said.
“I'm going to try to use that and add points week by week. I see opportunities.”
Tsitsipas, meanwhile, safely progressed at the Barcelona Open on Wednesday, beating Jaume Munar 6-0, 6-2 to set up a clash with Alex De Minaur.
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