Last Updated on February 28, 2023
A former World no.1 junior, best Greek tennis player in history with nine singles and one doubles ATP titles, this year Australian Open finalist and currently no.3 player in the World, is 24-years-old Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Born and raised in Athens, he spent his childhood in Vouliagmeni, a seaside suburb about 20km south of Athens city center. Both of his parents are experienced tennis players who had been working as tennis instructors for tourists at Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, where Stefanos was growing up most of the year.
He was introduced to the sport at age of three and started taking classes at age of six. Then he started playing on the ITF junior circuit at age of fourteen, won Junior European Championship, Junior Wimbledon playing doubles, and is former World no.1 junior.
Stefanos turned pro in 2016, is playing on ATP Tour with great success and many more seasons and trophies are yet to come.
Here are some fun facts about him:
Stefanos is of mixed descent
His father Apostolos is from Karditsa, Greece and his mother Yulia is from Moscow, Russia.
“It’s very important for me that I have a second background, that I have two different cultures in my life, Greek and Russian. It has given me a completely different perspective on things.”
Stefanos commented about his roots and added – “I’m in love with my country. We have the most amazing, richest language that allows you to express yourself so well. We have the landscape, the water, the beaches, the history. It’s easy to love Greece.”
He was born on August 12th
Born the same date as Pete Sampras who is tennis player with Greek origins and who he idolizes when growing up.
“The person that made you want to go out at the tennis courts in the beach, made you dream about playing all of the big stages and arenas around the World, winning trophies and titles, becoming an inspiration for others. Despite being at the end of his career, my childhood was field with his matches and battles that I will never forget. He has given me courage and eagerness to pursue my dream.” Stefanos said about his idol Pete Sampras.
Also, he has some Hellenic backing: his coach Mark Philippoussis is half Greek and half Italian, as well as his former coach Patrick Mouratoglou who is Frenchman of Greek heritage.
Stefanos is the oldest child in the family
He has three younger siblings, two brothers Petros and Pavlos and a sister Elisavet, and all of them are playing tennis. Stefanos often plays in doubles at tournaments on ATP Tour with his brother Petros.
“Doubling down with my brother, fighting hard and what an incredible team we are becoming on the doubles court.”
His grandfather from his mother’s side is a famous former Russian football player
He inherited his love for football from his grandfather who won a gold medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Sweden with the National team of the Soviet Union (SSSR).
He was playing for Spartak Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg and Dinamo Moscow. In Russia in 2016 it was issued a post in his honor, from the series “Football legends.”
Started playing tennis at Glifada Tennis Club
Stefano’s first tennis steps were at age of six at the tennis club called by the Glifada suburb of Athens. His first coach was Giorgos Spiliopoulos.
“He taught me about the importance of the sport, discipline, work-ethic and right technique on court. It was very important step for me having a humble coach like him, giving me the right steps and directing me with knowledge from the beginning.”
He had a scarry experience while growing up
As a teenager he had near-death experience swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. He was saved by his father who helped him climb on a rock.
“The waves were covering us every two to three seconds and, for the first time in my life, I felt I was a few seconds from dying. On the court after this, I was looser and more relaxed.”
Stefanos is currently single and open to a new relationship
In July 2022 he split up with his girlfriend Theodora Petalas with whom he was in a relationship for more than three years.
In an interview with Jim Courier, after a quarterfinal match at this year Australian Open, he said that it will be nice to see his favorite actress, the Australian Margot Robbie in his box one day.
“Are you pitching right now?” Courier asked him, which caused smiles and cheers from the audience.
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Stefanos’s hobby is photography and filmmaking
When he is not on the pitch, he is taking creative photos and filming short videos, which he posts on his Instagram profile.
“I don’t want to hear or see anything about my sport during recovery time. That’s why I’ve been looking for hobbies that completely detach me from tennis and that I can relax while practicing. Photography stimulates my creativity and lets me calm down.”
Stefanos nickname is “Greek God” got it because of his look.
He is 193cm tall, 90kg weight and with his long hair and athletic body reminds of the Gods from the Greek Mythology. He said about himself that he is part-time tennis player, part-time philosopher and his favorite quote is Socrates’
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”
His favorite club is AEK Athens
He is a big fan of AEK Athens, a professional club established and based in Nea Filadelfia, suburb of Athens. He supports AEK both in football and basketball. Since before dedicating to the tennis he was playing football, Stefanos can be often seen at the football matches around Europe, when he has free time.
There is a photo on his Instagram profile, of him and former tennis player Boris Becker at San Siro, watching AC Milan vs. Juventus FC. At the last World Cup held in Qatar, bearing in mind that Greece was not qualified, he was supporting Argentina and Leo Messi.