Tensions increase easily inside what has been a boring ATP anti-COVID bubble, with Stefanos Tsisipas longing for the controlled chaos of the pre-pandemic times.
The Greek holder at the eight-man ATP Finals starting without fans on Sunday at London”s O2 arena, said on Friday that he finds it much harder to cope in the sport’s current locked-down conditions.
“Sure there is confusion at most tournaments, with spectators and media,” the No. 6 said as he prepared to open play on Sunday against Dominic Thiem
“But there is more stress being inside the bubble, you spend 100 per cent of the day just for tennis.
“It’s all mental, things are more overwhelming now than they were before,” he added of a Tour which has been staging events under quarantine conditions since August after a five-month forced lockdown.
“There is no chance to hang out with people, to go for a nice dinner.
“Now, we don’t have the opportunities, it’s a more stressful time. You are just watching YouTube videos or TV or reading a book – it’s not really the same.”
The modern day Renaissance man who formerly indulged in an online film-making hobby before his tennis completely took over, added:
“I prefer the old way (before COVID), but we all have to deal with it.”