SHANGHAI: Stefanos Tsitsipas said that he scares the “Big Three” after the young Greek stunned world number one Novak Djokovic to reach the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Friday.
The 21-year-old has now defeated Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal this year to burnish his fast-growing reputation.
On Saturday though he faces the red-hot 23-year-old Daniil Medvedev — who he has never beaten.
Tsitsipas recovered from losing the opening three games in just seven minutes to shock the reigning champion Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Calling it the best comeback of his nascent career, the seventh-ranked Tsitsipas said he dreamt of beating the “Big Three”.
But rather than being intimidated by them, Tsitsipas said: “I honestly feel like they are more threatened than I am and that makes me more relaxed on court.
“I know I just have to hang in there and be able to be more aggressive.
“Once you get aggressive and they see you going for it, I might even say they get scared.”
It was a double celebration for Tsitsipas, who also confirmed his place in the prestigious season-ending ATP Finals.
Tsitsipas sealed the deal with a gleeful smash and held both arms aloft. Djokovic met his opponent with a warm embrace at the net.
Djokovic, who had looked imperious up until now, had no complaints.
“He deserved the victory, he was the better player,” said the 32-year-old Serbian.
“Second and third set I started off very well, but then I wasn’t sharp.
“I lacked that little bit of dynamic movement and acceleration in my shots.”
Asked if Tsitsipas has the potential to be number one, Djokovic replied: “He definitely has, yes.” – AFP