Stefanos Tsitsipas has confessed that he might have spoken out of school with his 2019 vow to win a Grand Slam title during what has turned out to be an aborted, virus-plagued 2020 season.
The Greek, now ranked sixth, was all smiles barely half a year ago when he won the ATP Finals year-end event in London, with defeats of Roger Federer and in the semis and Dominic Thiem in the trophy match.
But a third-round loss in straight sets at the Australian Open to Milos Raonic brought the 21-year-old back to earth.
Now, Tsitsipas says he may have mis-spoken about being ready to break up the ATP ruling clique of Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“Looking back to that I think this was too big of a statement (Grand Slam title in 2020) to be taken seriously,” Tsitsipas said to the TennisMajors website.
“I shouldn’t be looking so far so soon. For sure, I want it to come, but I should be talking about stuff like this less often and concentrate on the present.”
He added: “I just put too much pressure on myself, aiming so high. I have to take it step by step, not think too much about the future and be irrational.”
Even though he is “merely” a regular member of the ranking Top 10, the youngster has not given up on the dream of greatness.
“I say it every single time like it’s the only thing I want to achieve in my life – for sure it is.
“(But) if you think about it too much it might as well never happen, so just relax and enjoy the process.”