Stefanos Tsitsipas is hoping to continue his recent excellent form and has set himself a clear target for the season ahead, a top three place in the world rankings.
Tsitsipas is currently world number five, his career-high ranking and has had an impressive season so far winning his first ever ATP Masters in Monte-Carlo last month.
Before that, he reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open, the final of the ATP 500 in Acapulco and last week was narrowly beaten in the Barcelona Open final by Rafael Nadal.
The Greek is seeded fourth in this weeks Madrid Masters behind Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem, but with Medvedev's poor clay record and the fact that Thiem hasn't played competitively since March, Tsitsipas fancies himself to give a strong performance.
"I won’t lie, my expectations are to come as close to my previous result (in Barcelona) which was in the final,” Tsitsipas told reporters when asked about his goal for the tournament.
“I’m really pumped for this week and next week,” he added.
Tsitispas is currently less than 400 points behind Thiem in the rankings and knows that a strong Madrid showing can help him leapfrog the Austrian.
“I can create opportunities and maybe get to number four. It’s something that has been on my mind and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” he explains.
“Mainly because I’ve been working hard and I feel like that’s my opportunity to do something different. But of course I’m far from there yet. I have to get these matches going and produce better tennis.”
The 22-year-old says there are still elements of his game that he wants to improve on, most notably his service game.
“I would like to be a bit more consistent on my serve with a higher first service (percentage)" said Tsitsipas.
"I would like to come to the net more and have a higher winning percentage of net points won. Stuff like this is something I am aiming for.
“Sending my attention towards the small details which will help me become a more aggressive and complete player.”
Tsitisipas is currently in pole position for the end-of-year ATP Finals which are reserved for the top eight players each season and he says he hopes that momentum can get him even higher in the rankings.
“Right now I’m in the lead in the race to Turin which is very important for me. I want to preserve that to finish the year inside the top three. That is a fair goal for me.”
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