Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece serves to Matthew Ebden of Australia during their match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Greek tennis sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas may be only 20, but has worked out his own recipe of winning titles on the men’s ATP Tour. “Keep away from social media,” was his advice after claiming a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 opening round victory over Australian Matthew Ebden late on Tuesday.

Considered as one of the brightest young talents in the game after he showed Roger Federer the door in Australian Open — just shut himself off all social media platforms on his way to claiming his second career title at the Marseille Open last Sunday. This week too is going to be no different in Dubai, irrespective of the results he produces during the remainder of the week culminating with Saturday’s final.

“I said that it’s enough, I had enough of that. Do it like the old way. Do it like players who used to play 30 years ago, with no phones. I think they were pretty OK. Yeah instead of that, I started having nice conversations with my friends who happened to be there, going for some good lunch, dinner with them, discussing about different interesting topics instead of being on my phone. I think I was more social that week than ever,” Tsitsipas said.

“I was just sick and tired of all those messages, all those people talking about me. All the notifications I was receiving, like, I felt my brain blocked. I felt like I couldn’t process all of that information coming to me,” he added.

Winner of the Stockholm Open at the end of last year, Tsitsipas won his second crown with a straight-set 7-5, 7-6 (5) win over Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in Marseille last Sunday. Tsitsipas had not been too keen on making the trip to Marseille, but his dad had managed to convince the youngster.

“I don’t know why he [dad] believed so much we could do well there. I remember telling him that I’m not in the form. If I’m going, I’m not going to go there to win the tournament. I don’t feel rested, well rested enough to win such a tournament,” he disclosed.

“I went and played a doubles match — which was my first hit after a week of doing nothing. I played horrible. Came the next day, was very nervous if I’m going to play well, and managed to get through that. I was happy. I was playing well and to my surprise, I was playing really well, something I didn’t expect. Suddenly after winning my first match, I got so much motivation that I felt like I can do well,” Tsitsipas said.

“I mean I’m still doing it. So no phone this week as well,” he smiled.