Stefanos Tsitsipas provided one of the most memorable on-court interviews for some time after his victory over Gilles Simon in the opening round of the Australian Open.
Hilarious and awkward in equal measures, Tsitsipas laughed and gestured his way through the interview with two-time Australian Open champion Jim Courier.
Asked by Courier if he was surprised at the scoreline, having dropped just four games all match, Tsitsipas replied: “I don’t know. Well… I don’t know what to say. I obviously wasn’t expecting it to come so easy. It was a great match from my side.”
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Tsitsipas then grimaced as small parts of the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena groaned at that response. The Greek fifth seed even put his hands out to question the reaction before smiling and adding, “I mean, let’s be honest,” which drew more laughs.
“Oh my God, I feel like I messed it up already,” he continued. “Well, I think I played a great, spectacular match from the beginning to the end,” which drew yet more laughs and prompted Tsitsipas to say:
What am I doing here?
He then pretended to leave the interview.
‘What am I doing here?’ - Tsitsipas gives awkward interview
“I don’t know what his tactic was,” he continued, again to more laughs. “I can just leave if you want me to! The last thing I expected was playing on Rod Laver and everyone laughing at me.”
Courier joked about the “awkward” interview, and then asked Tsitsipas about what it’s like to play in front of the Melbourne audience, “which obviously adores you even if they don’t like your answers in this interview”.
Tsitsipas replied: “Whenever I come here I feel a great affinity with the people. They provide so much support, in tennis that helps a lot. People come and support me annually which is a great thing, it’s the ‘happy slam’ for a reason.”
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On the prospect of facing Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round, a point which drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd and a round of “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!”, Tsitsipas said he had known the Australian for a long time.
“We practice a lot of times. He’s a really nice guy, but that won’t really matter on the court,” he said, to more laughs and a response from Courier, who said “you just keep digging a hole my man, you just keep digging”.
Tsitsipas added: “He had a great comeback. I saw his match before, he looks in good shape. His game is there, I’ll take him seriously. Every match in a slam is important. Every time I go out there, no matter who I’m playing, I try and put the best Stefanos out on the court. I’m expecting a big fight.”
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