Stefanos Tsitsipas has agreed with Andy Roddick’s assessment that he needs to learn to win on his “bad days” if he wants to challenge for Grand Slam titles.
Tsitsipas has soared up the rankings in the last two years and sits at No 6 in the world ahead of the new season.
He also won the ATP Finals in 2019, but has only made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam twice (the 2019 Australian Open and 2020 French Open).
With expectations that he could be the next first-time Slam winner in 2021, former world No 1 Roddick thinks Tsitsipas needs to find ways to win when he’s not at his best.
"His highest level is not in question, when he’s playing great and he’s flying high, the shot-making ability is there. I want Tsitsipas to be better on his bad days," Roddick told the Tennis Channel.
I think that’s the only thing separating him from the top of the game right now is in the third realm, when he’s not quite feeling it he doesn’t have everything, getting through that match is important for him, and he needs to kind of maybe learn how to do that a little bit better.
Roddick added that the Greek could learn from the top two in the world, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
"They keep the fighting spirit even on days when nothing goes right. Tsitsipas has to learn from them and show that he can win even when his tennis doesn't perform the way he wants.
"He still doesn't know what it's like to win a game without playing well. That has to improve as soon as possible."
Asked about Roddick’s comments in an interview with Sky Sports in Italy, Tsitsipas said: “It's all true, he played a lot and saw a lot of tennis. You can make great strides when it comes to that growth.”
Top shots from 2020 Australian Open
The 22-year-old had a disappointing end to 2020 as he suffered a leg injury and was unable to defend his ATP Finals title, losing in the group stage.
But he is raring to go again as he prepares to start his season at the ATP Cup in Melbourne.
"I feel much better day after day. I took a bit of vacation, now with this time available I can work on many aspects of my game that I need to improve on. I am ready to go to Australia and with Greece I will also play the ATP Cup, which I care a lot about."
Reflecting on the disrupted 2020 season, he added: "The season was very strange, tennis had never had such a long break. Obviously I trained, then read a lot of books and tried to find a new routine.
"I tried to learn French and broaden my horizons. Now I hope that tennis can get back to normal rhythms."