Exclusive Interview: Getting to know tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas 

In between his busy training sessions and Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters tournament matches, Stefanos Tsitsipas found the time to speak to Celina Lafuente de Lavotha for Monaco Life about tennis, life, and how he loves to spend his time off the court. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas has won 10 ATP Tour titles, including back-to-back Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters titles in 2021 and 2022. Having reached the second round, he is a serious contender for a third title this year.

In 2019, Tsitsipas clinched victory at the Nitto Finals, marking his inaugural entry into this elite-level competition. Notable among his Grand Slam performances are his appearances in the finals at Roland Garros in 2021 and the Australian Open in 2023, both times falling short against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. His pinnacle in the rankings came in August 2021, reaching the esteemed position of world No. 3. Presently, he stands at ATP 12.

As the 25-year-old shared with Monaco Life between matches this week, Monaco is not only the place where he resides, but also a community where he thrives and feels deeply connected.

Monaco Life: What do you like to do when you are off the court in Monaco? 

Stefanos Tsitsipas: I recently discovered a restaurant called Castelroc close to the Palace that I like to frequent; it is very peaceful. I enjoy good food so I like to go to my favourite hangouts in Monaco like Beefbar, Maya Bay, The Niwaki, and Budha Bar with friends and family; and also Gaia for Greek food of course.

I like to take my car to explore hidden gems and beaches in the area. The whole Cote d’Azur is a region with so many wonderful spots and great scenery.

I had the chance to take a helicopter ride to Valensole, a charming Provencal town that overlooks a lavender valley. I am an amateur photographer, so it was an opportunity to take great pictures. I tasted lavender ice-cream and took home delicious lavender biscuits. It was fun; I will definitely do it again!

There are also many interesting sites to discover in nearby Italy, and Italian food is excellent.

The many options we have located just a few minutes away from Monaco are unlimited.

Stefanos Tsitsipas on the court. Credit: Mihai Stetcu

Why are you passionate about promoting tennis on and off the court?

Tennis is such a fantastic sport and deserves full recognition. It is one of the few individual sports where you do not need a team to play. I am very happy to have built a career and a lifestyle around it. My goal is to promote it not only in my country of Greece but globally.

In particular, I want to encourage the use of the classical single-handed backhand that stopped being popular in the 1930’s. The one-handed backhand is such a powerful and effective stroke, and if you do it properly, it leaves opponents amazed.

I also want to attract more children to this sport, and encourage them to pursue the one-handed backhand. It is a technically difficult shot but you can certainly learn to master it if you put your mind to it.

You’ve said publicly that you plan on bringing home an Olympic gold medal for Greece at the upcoming Paris games. Why is this important for you?

The Olympic Games is the leading international sporting event for all sports, including tennis. I am very proud to participate on behalf of my country and the sport I love, in the best possible way, and show the people of Greece that they are well represented and good things are coming!

“My goal is to be better, to stay at the top of my game, and conquer more awards.”

You were named Greek Male Athlete of the Year in 2019. What did that title mean for you?

I had a great season in 2019, marked by an amazing victory at the Nitto ATP Finals. It was my first time participating in this competition and it gave me a major boost of confidence.

Being recognised as Greek Athlete of the Year helped me realise the impact I had in sports in Greece, and it inspired me to to push myself even more to defend that title. My goal is to be better, to stay at the top of my game, and conquer more awards.

Stefanos Tsitsipas plans on bringing home to Greece a medal at this year’s Paris Olympics. Credit: Mihai Stetcu

What does living in the Principality of Monaco mean to you?

I truly enjoy living in Monaco as it has everything that’s needed for me to develop both professionally and personally.

I had seriously thought about which other places I could live, that could offer similar conditions and lifestyle; places that allow me to have easy access to other parts of the world. But no other city offers so many advantages. Thanks to Monaco’s central location in Europe, I can hop on a flight and in a few hours be anywhere in Europe, as well as the USA.

“Most importantly, I feel very welcome in Monaco. I have become part of this country as an athlete.”

It is a country that offers a solid base where I am able to train with top players, and it has a good gym, which is essential for my work off the court. Monaco has it all!

The Mediterranean weather is also a very attractive factor. Besides, Monaco offers the opportunity to be by the sea or to go to the mountains nearby. And the food options are amazing!

Most importantly, I feel very welcome in Monaco. I have become part of this country as an athlete.

What does the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters mean to you? 

I was victorious two years in a row here in 2021and 2022, and I have many supporters here, which gives me lots of joy.

I have not only built a home in Monaco, but I am also part of a community that allows me to flourish and develop into a better person.


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Main photo of Stefanos Tsitsipas. Credit: Mihai Stetcu