Tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas has revealed he found out his grandmother had passed away just five minutes before his French Open final loss to Novak Djokovic on Monday morning.
The Greek player was seen overcome with emotion during the trophy presentation following the world No. 1’s dramatic comeback victory.
Tsitsipas spoke with grounded perspective when conducting interviews after the match, but never spoke of his secret heartbreak until hours later.
The 22-year-old posted on Instagram that his “beloved grandmother” had passed away on Monday and that he carried the grief with him onto the court after learning the tragic news just minutes before.
The post further explains the moments Djokovic consoled him before the trophy presentation and the sorrowful looks he gave in the minutes after Djokovic sealed the win.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia embraces former tennis player Bjorn Borg as receives the trophy. Stefanos Tsitsipas looks dejected in the background.Source:Getty Images
He said win or lose, his performance was dedicated to his grandma.
“Life isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about enjoying every single moment in life whether that’s alone or with others,” he wrote.
“Living a meaningful life without misery and abjection. Lifting trophies and celebrating wins is something, but not everything. 5 minutes before entering the court my very beloved grandmother lost her battle with life.
“A wise woman whose faith in life, and willingness to give and provide can’t be compared to any other human being that I have ever met. It’s important to have more people like her in this world. Because people like her make you come alive. They make you dream.
“I would like to say that regardless of the day, circumstance or situation, this is entirely dedicated to her, and only her. Thank you for raising my father. Without him this wouldn’t have been possible.”
A post shared by Stefanos Tsitsipas (@stefanostsitsipas98)
He had earlier said he had “no regrets and no tears” following his defeat.
“I don’t think I have regrets. Could have easily cried, but I see no reason for me crying because I tried everything. I couldn’t come up with anything better,” he admitted.
Playing in his first Slam final, Tsitsipas knows his time will come but admits he has lessons to learn from the likes of Djokovic who he described as “an inspiration”.
“What I learned today is that no matter what, in order for the match to be finished, you have to win three sets and not two,” he said.
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece is consoled by winner Novak Djokovic.Source:Getty Images
Stefanos Tsitsipas has carrying a lot onto court.Source:Getty Images
“Two sets doesn’t really mean anything. It’s still one away of winning the entire match.” Tsitsipas is buoyed by knowing that even before he was 21 he had beaten Djokovic, Nadal and Federer.
This clay-court season, he captured a maiden Masters title in Monte Carlo, had a match point to beat Nadal in Barcelona before winning a seventh career title in Lyon on the eve of Roland Garros.
“I believe, yes, I’m able to play for titles like this. Despite my loss today, I have faith in my game,” he said.
“I very much believe I can get to that point very soon. I was close today. Every opponent is difficult. There’s a small difference between the player I played today and the ones from before.
“But I think with the same attitude I see no reason for me not to be holding that trophy one day.”
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