Stefanos Tsitsipas has lauded Novak Djokovic after he lost out to the world No. 1 in the final of the Italian Open in Rome on Sunday.
Djokovic ramped up his preparations for the French Open with an impressive 6-0 7-6(5) win over the Greek at the Stadio del tennis di Roma.
The Serb clinched his first title in over six months as he claimed the 38th Masters 1000 title of his career with his 1001st match win.
US Open
When is the US Open? How to watch tournament and who is playing
For Tsitsipas, it was a repeat of his defeat to the 34-year-old in last year's final at Roland-Garros - and his fifth successive loss on clay to Djokovic while appearing in his first Rome final.
"He has everything tuned in close to perfection," Tsitsipas said after the final when talking about Djokovic.
"When it comes to his diet or his everyday life, his tennis, he has everything scheduled out really well.
"He's like a Formula 1 car: every single small detail can disrupt his rhythm. He makes sure every single thing that he does is reaching as close to perfection as possible.
"In terms of talking about tennis legends and breaking records, when it comes to all these things, I personally think he's one of the most professional and the best of them all."
Asked who he regards as the favourites for Roland-Garros, Tsitsipas was torn between Djokovic and the rising star of men's tennis who has shone so far this season, Carlos Alcaraz.
"Right now, Carlos Alcaraz or Novak Djokovic. They both play great, great tennis. I would put them as favourites,” Tsitsipas said.
"Right now, I need to improve a few things in my game. I don't know if I'm going to get there, but I hope I do with my hard work by the time Roland Garros begins.
"I’d love myself to get around with these players and be there with them. But I will really need to put a bit more attention to detail in the next couple of weeks.”

Djokovic beats Tsitsipas in Rome to lift 6th Italian Open and 38th Masters title

Djokovic will be the world No. 1 for the 370th week after he became the oldest Rome champion aged 34 years, 11 months and 23 days. He said after the win over Tsitsipas that the triumph had been the culmination of the hard work he has put in over recent months to prepare for Roland-Garros.
"I pleasantly surprised myself," Djokovic said in his on-court interview afterwards.
"Even though I have a clear gameplan and strategy coming into the match I knew what was expected of me from the other side. I knew what I had to do.
"The tie-breaker I was an inch better, maybe calmer, but it was a tight tie-break for both of us certainly."
He added: "Two days ago [against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-final] I played great. I've been building my form the last couple of weeks.
"Like the previous years, I knew that my best shape on the clay usually comes around Rome time.
"It couldn't be a better time to come into Roland-Garros with a title in this wonderful tournament."

"Blessed and priviledged' - Djokovic on reaching tour landmark of 1000 wins

- - -
Stream the 2022 French Open live and on-demand on discovery+
US Open
Medvedev ‘would love’ to see Djokovic play at the US Open
ATP Cincinnati
‘Abdominal strains are dangerous’ – Nadal cautious ahead of Cincinnati Masters