Time for a changing of the guard at Wimbledon, says Tsitsipas
LONDON – Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas said he is determined to help break the Wimbledon title stranglehold of tennis’ ‘Big Four’ which has existed since 2003.
The 20-year-old, who is top seed at Queen’s this week, said it is time for either himself or the likes of Alexander Zverev to step up as a potential champion at the All England Club next month.
Andy Murray, the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon winner who is returning at Queen’s in the doubles after a long lay-off following hip surgery, said he thought Wimbledon will be won once again by either Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The trio have captured 14 Wimbledon titles between them.
Tsitsipas, who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final in January at the Australian Open knocking out Federer on the way, said he hoped there would be a new name on the trophy.
Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt, in 2002, was the last man outside of the ‘Big Four’ to triumph at Wimbledon.
“I want to be honest. I would love to see something different this year and hopefully it will be me,” Tsitsipas said Sunday.
“It would give it a little bit of variety, something different to these guys.
“We are responsible as the new generation to work hard to come up with something new and our best games to beat those guys.”
Tsitsipas, who arrives ranked six in the world but having lost to unheralded Chilean Nicolas Jarry on grass at ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week, says the younger players must believe in themselves.
“It is only a matter of character and feeling responsible for what we are doing on the court,” he said.
“Some don’t want to take the responsibility of going out and overcoming all those difficulties and beat those guys.
“I think positively and hope at Wimbledon this will happen.”
Tsitsipas, who bowed out of the French Open in the last 16 in an epic five setter with Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka, said it was not just for him or 22-year-old Zverev, to challenge the sport’s top three stars.
“There are others – Felix (Auger-Aliassime), Denis (Shapovalov), Taylor (Fritz), Alex (de Minaur), Frances (Tiafoe) – we want a big, big rivalry in the future.”
Tsitsipas faces British number one Kyle Edmund in the first round at Queen’s but says being top seed does not make him feel like he is the hunted.
“Some players will think about it (him being the top seed) when they play you,” he said.
“If you think about it too much that ‘I am the favourite’ and everyone expects you to win then you become quite lazy because you expect everything to come to you.”AFP