Stefanos Tsitsipas has revealed his desire to play “as much doubles as possible” with his brother Petros in 2021.
The world No 6 teamed up with his 20-year-old brother at the Australian Open and they are set to play together again this week in Rotterdam as they face last week’s Singapore Tennis Open winners Joran Vliegen and Sander Gille in the first round.
Not many of the top singles players also feature regularly in doubles, but Stefanos is keen to build a partnership with his brother, who is ranked 967 in the world in singles.
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"I wanted to start the new year in the most fresh and dynamic way," said Stefanos ahead of his Rotterdam opener against Egor Gerasimov on Tuesday.
I want to play as much doubles as possible with my brother, Petros. It’s been a dream of mine, but I haven’t made it happen a lot.
"I want to take the opportunity to play with him in 250 and 500 events, a Grand Slam, as we did. It was my best memory of my stay in Australia.
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"I am primarily focusing on my singles career, but I also want to help my brother and his performances. I would only do it for my brother, and no one else.
"I want to build a team with him, exclusively with him. I’m not planning on playing with anyone else."
Kei Nishikori and Felix Auger-Aliassime are also playing doubles in Rotterdam, while world No 8 Andrey Rublev has teamed up with fellow Russian Karen Khachanov.
Tstispas’ match against Gerasimov, who beat Andy Murray in Montpellier last week, will be his first since losing in the semi-finals of the Australian Open to Daniil Medvedev.
"I didn’t really have a goal at the Australian Open," said Tsitsipas. "I wanted to win the tournament like the other 127 players, but I was taking it step-by-step and going on a journey.
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"Every match I won, I felt better than the next day. It was great playing a semi-final, but I need to unlock a few things and take the next step to reach a Grand Slam final."
Tsitsipas has now made the semi-finals of three Grand Slams after also reaching the last four at the Australian Open in 2019 and the French Open last year.
He says he feels like he has more “experience” now compared to his first run to the semi-finals in Melbourne, when he lost to Rafael Nadal in straight sets.
"I felt two different emotions. Having the semi-final run the first time felt quite special. It wasn’t something that I’d achieved before. I did make the second week of a Grand Slam the year before at Wimbledon, but I still felt a long way away from being consistent and making [it to] the semi-finals.
"I had experience this time, and I knew what steps I had to take to be able to reach that goal again."
Tsitsipas is the second seed at the Rotterdam Open behind Medvedev, who opens against Dusan Lajovic on Wednesday and will move up to No 2 in the world if he reaches the final.
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