Stefanos Tsitsipas shrugged off his stunning French Open fourth-round exit at the hands of Danish teenager Holger Rune on Monday, insisting: “I want payback".
The Greek world number four and runner-up in Paris to Novak Djokovic in 2021, was shocked 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 by 19-year-old Rune who fired a fearless 54 winners.
It was the second time this year that Tsitsipas had been out-foxed by one of the sport’s highly-rated teenagers after losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the Barcelona quarter-finals.
“I’m not worried. I know my tennis, I know my game. These kids are going to want to beat me badly because obviously they are chasing," said Tsitsipas, who was bidding to make the quarter-finals in Paris for a third successive year.
“I’m chasing too, but I’m at a different kind of position than they are. I’m hungry to beat them too. Now that they have beat me I want payback."
Tsitsipas described the 40th-ranked Rune as an “emotional" player after the teenager saw a 5-2 fourth set lead whittled away before he saved three break points in the decisive 10th game.
“One-of-a-kind of an opponent I would say," said Tsitsipas. “He is a very emotional player, he can play great, he absolutely deserves this victory, played better, faced crucial tough moments better.
“But I can see something different next time with this opponent. I’m pretty convinced I can do way better. This is not where I’ve maxed out, let’s say. I didn’t give myself the opportunity to go all the way and that is a shame."
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