When we lose, like you, so close to winning. How long will we digest this defeat?
It was hard to digest, because after the match I was sure that if I returned to the court at the beginning of the match or two zero sets for me, I would do it differently. But I wasn’t ready to do it at the time. Everything went well for me, it took me a while to find this rhythm. So it hurt me a lot, I wanted this tournament for so many years … But now it’s in the past, I’m starting from scratch. It’s good that this is an experience, but I have to move forward.
You are a tennis star. How is it in Greece?
Tennis is going very well, better than ever. Many children prefer tennis to football or basketball. There are many requests to play, there are a lot of covers. In my country the weather is always good, people are active. If we perform well in major tournaments, this sport will become the most popular in the country. Today it is the third or fourth most popular sport in Greece.
Are the kids trying to copy you and especially your great one-handed backhand?
In Greece ?! I haven’t actually seen them play, but I know some people have said they want to play like me, which is definitely great to hear. But let’s wait a few more years and we might see even more Greeks playing the one-handed backhand. My brothers play like this. But it’s not just about tennis, it’s also about will, state of mind, sacrifice.
A few words about Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who retired a few days ago…
I was young and saw his final at the Australian Open in 2008. He is a great player, full of energy. I played with him once, I liked his tennis. It’s hard to see him go because he has done so much for our sport. And I think he could do even better. He has a fantastic career, a unique style. I am sure that one day we will return to the track as a coach, he knows tennis so well.
With you ? Instead of your father?!
Laughs. We never know what life has in store for us! I think I would have made the decision, not my father.
Is it easy to have a father as a daily coach?
He has precise ideas that are dear to me. And so do I, because I’m a player on the field. But my father is a very good navigator, he works hard to bring the best to my game.
You look happy on the court. Are you in life too?
Yes soon! Laugh I love my life. I spend a lot of time on the court, I train, I play. I also like to have weekends. I have two lives: tennis and a normal life. Sometimes it’s a little weird on my weekends because I don’t know what to do. This is a little disturbing. I…