Stefano Tsitaipas leaves Melbourne with his head held high after throwing everything he had into his losing Australian Open final against world-beater Novak Djokovic on Sunday.
The Greek who was cheered on by thousands of countrymen at the Laver arena, fell short as he took a 6-3, 7-6(4), 7-6 (5) defeat in three hours which gave Djokovic a 10th title in Melbourne and a 22nd Grand Slam trophy.
With the Serb now level with Rafael Nadal at the summit of the stats, Tsitsipas said that an upset win from him was just not to be.
“I did everything possible in order to get a good match against him. My team is working exceptionally to give me the best way that I can approach this, especially today.”
He added: “There is nothing that I didn’t use to my advantage. There’s nothing that I could have extracted more for today. I did everything possible.
“Novak is a player that pushes you to your limits. I don’t see this as a curse, or something annoying.
“It’s very good for the sport, to have competitors like him, to have champions like him.
“Getting our asses kicked is for sure a very good lesson every single time.”
The new ATP No. 3 in Monday’s rankings has already moved on from his finals disappointment after losing to the Serb in a seconds straight major (2021 Roland Garros where he was beaten from two sets up).
“I’m not thinking about the match anymore. I’m just happy that I was in another Grand Slam final.
“Of course, I was dreaming about the trophy, lifting that trophy – I even dreamt it last night. The desire is really there. I really, really want it badly.
“But just dreaming about it won’t make it happen. You’ve got to act, do something out there.
“I felt there were moments when I was close, but I had a bad start (an bad luck in two tiebreakers,
“I’ll just eliminate it, take the good things, move on from there. It’s a long season, an exhausting season.
“I’ve got to be physically ready for the difficult matches that I will have to play this year against the best players in the world.”