Who is Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 20-year-old Greek tennis player who just beat Roger Federer?

Up until Sunday night, many casual tennis fans hadn’t heard of Stefanos Tsitsipas. But that all changed when the 20-year-old from Greece beat 20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

So who is the Greek player who managed to ruin Federer’s chances at a seventh Australian Open win?

Well, you could say Stefanos Tsitsipas was born to play tennis.  His mother, Julia Apostoli, originally from Russia, was a professional tennis player on the world’s Women’s Tennis Association tour, while his father, Apostolos Tsitsipas, was a tennis coach.

Unsurprisingly, they introduced their son to the sport young – giving him a racket at just three years old.

“My first memory is to be three and to hit balls with my father in the gap between lessons. I remember watching games on TV, as a baby, I can not tell you who was playing, but I remember watching,” he told a Greek sports website in 2017.

By age nine, Tsitsipas knew that he wanted to make playing tennis his career. And by mid-2016 he was the highest ranked junior tennis player in the world.

So if anyone could beat Federer in a nail-biting 6-7 (11-13), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) clash at Rod Laver Arena at just 20 years old, it was him.


In his post-match interview, Tsitsipas admitted that he had grown up idolising Federer and was thrilled to have beaten him.

“Roger is a legend of our sport. So much respect for him,” he said.

“I have been analysing him since the age of six. It was a dream come true for me just being on Rod Laver [Arena], facing him.

“And winning at the end, there is no way I cannot describe it.”

That win earned him a place in the quarter-finals – he’s the first Greek ever to progress in the competition that far.

Seeded 14 in the competition, he’d reached the history-making moment by beating Italian Matteo Berrettini, Serbian Viktor Troicki and Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

But no one expected him to beat world number three player, Roger Federer.

Photos of the young gun post-match seem to suggest he too was in disbelief as he told an interviewer, “I’m the happiest man on Earth right now.”

But elation would have quickly turned to concentration as he set his sights on his next challenge.

“We all know who Roger Federer is, what he has done in tennis,” he said.

“But I still have to keep my focus, keep my concentration on further goals that I want to achieve. That’s a very good beginning. I need to stay humble.

“This win is a good milestone, let’s say a good first step, as I said, to something bigger.”

On Tuesday he will face off against 22-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, who has so far knocked off Andy Murray and Marin Cilic.

If Tsitsipas can beat Bautista Agut, he’ll be just two more wins away from his first grand slam championship.

And while the young man is humble, he also believes he can do it.

“That’s why I’m playing, for the trophy, for the title,” he said when asked about taking out the entire tournament. “Again, I feel good. I really want it badly.”

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