Tennis fans witnessed one of the Australian Open’s biggest upsets on Wednesday evening when world No. 2 Rafael Nadal was knocked out by Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set marathon on Rod Laver Arena.
Nadal is one of the sports’ most popular figures, but Tsitsipas is poised to step into the spotlight when the big three’s reign eventually comes to a halt.
The 22-year-old gun has rocketed to No. 6 on the ATP rankings, claiming five career titles to date.
The only thing absent from Tsitsipas’ resume is a grand slam tournament final, something he can rectify on Friday evening when he faces Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open semi-final.
He almost got that opportunity at the 2019 Australian Open when he toppled the legendary Roger Federer, but was thumped by Nadal in the semi-final two days later.
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas.Source:AFP
Tsitsipas’ defining feature is undeniably his luscious locks, which would presumably make him the ideal poster boy for any shampoo brand.
But the Greek star shocked fans recently by revealing he “never” uses shampoo, relying solely on conditioner to keep his trademark mane in check.
“Never once did I have a client who doesn’t want shampoo,” veteran Greek hairdresser Giorgio Verligas told ATP Tour.
“It’s wrong. You must shampoo to clean the hair. The conditioner is only for softening.”
Never shampoo, only conditioner 💁🏼♂️
#OnceUponATime ☺️ pic.twitter.com/6Uj2gRRXTs
I know he just lost, but Stefanos Tsitsipas is easily my favorite tennis player. The name, the hair, the fit. What’s not to like?
Tsitsipas also boasts one of the most animated fanbases in the tennis world, as became blatantly clear during last year’s Australian Open.
Tennis pundits described the Greek fans as “rowdy” after they relentless heckled one of Tsitsipas’ opponents in the early rounds.
The right-hander has also occasionally been regarded as a hot-headed player — tennis fans will never forget his ugly outburst in last summer’s ATP Cup when he accidentally smacked his father with a racquet.
But the 22-year-old has since made a conscious effort to take a calmer approach on the court, which paid dividends when he was on the brink of elimination against a rampant Nadal on Wednesday.
“I wasn’t thinking about a lot of things,” said Tsitsipas, who hit 49 winners and 17 aces in his second win against Nadal.
“How would I describe myself? Nirvana. Just was there … playing, not thinking.”
He added: “I woke up today and I felt really relaxed. I felt things would go my way.
“I was very serene during the match. Maybe the absence of a crowd kept me like this.”
— with AFP
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