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Stefanos Tsitsipas reveals he has been 'struggling' with mystery equipment change

Stefanos Tsitsipas dejected at French Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas put his poor result against Holger Rune at the French Open down to his struggles to adjust to a change of equipment.

The fourth seed reached the final at Roland Garros last season and the draw this year looked relatively kind to him as well.

However, he crashed out to 19-year-old Rune in four sets in the round of 16, with him clearly looking some way short of his best.

After the match when asked if he could explain the defeat, Tsitsipas revealed he has recently changed his equipment with long-term improvement in mind, and that he has experienced problems in adjusting to it.

"I was struggling a lot the last couple of days in terms of finding my rhythm," Tsitsipas explained.

"I was very nervous on the court, being frustrated a lot, and I knew I was this way, but I couldn't stop being like this.

"Especially when you feel like there have been a few changes in terms of equipment and stuff like that, but I wouldn't attribute that to the equipment, I wouldn't put all of the blame on the equipment because it's something that I chose for my personal progress and getting better.

Asked if he felt the pressure of expectation as the favourite in his side of the draw, Stefanos Tsitsipas replied: "Absolutely not.

"I don't watch draws, I don't watch my next opponents. I pretty much know the progress and the way I need to do things in order to get to where I was last year and that doesn't come easy, for sure.

"But you've kind of experienced it before and you know what is required for you to have a high chance and have a high stake of making it back to the final."

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"Of course, I knew I'm going to have to play difficult opponents that know how to play on this surface, but mentally, physically, tennis-wise, I felt good.

"It's just that I had a few troubles in practice. Again, back to frustration, back to not understanding certain things and certain patterns that I was trying to impose."

Stefanos Tsitsipas exits French Open

Tsitsipas did not go into detail about what he has changed, but he was keen to stress the equipment itself was not to blame - it was more the psychology of it.

"You know, you do have this in the back of your head, having kind of changed a little bit of that equipment, playing with something that has helped you a lot last year get to a pretty good result, finals for the first time, it kind of stays back in your head that maybe I shouldn't have done that.

"But no blame there, I think it actually helps me and I just hope it serves its purpose and the way I want it to be in the next couple of weeks because I want to get as many points as possible.

"I wasn't really applying a lot of pressure, it was ridiculous at a point, and again I was stubborn, I was stubborn to change it, I didn't want to change because it has helped me before, it has brought good results.

"But again, like I need to adjust way quicker, it's too late for this stuff."

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is currently world number four, will suffer a rankings drop should Rafael Nadal or Carlos Alcaraz go on to win Roland Garros.

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