Novak Djokovic is to blame for Stefanos Tsitsipas’ demise at the 2022 French Open, according to Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic. Tsitsipas was knocked out of the event in the fourth round on Monday, after suffering a shock defeat to young Danish star Holger Rune 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
His defeat brings yet more frustration on the Roland Garros clay for the Greek star, after agonisingly losing to world No. 1 Djokovic in last year’s final. Tsitsipas was on the cusp of victory one year ago, after taking the first two sets in the finale in Paris.
Despite being just one set away, the 23-year-old had the title snatched away in cruel fashion, as Djokovic put in a comeback for the ages to win three sets in a way to dramatically secure his second French Open crown. One year on, the Greek star failed to really get himself going at Roland Garros, which eventually led to his elimination earlier this week.
Djokovic’s coach Ivanisevic believes the defeat to his man 12 months ago has had a lasting effect on Tsitsipas, and has labelled the agonising loss as a reason for his early exit this time around. He told Serbian media: “Somehow I have seen him very nervous since the beginning of this tournament, today, he made such mistakes.
JUST IN: Novak Djokovic’s coach plays down Carlos Alcaraz changes ahead of Rafael Nadal clash
“In the fourth set, it was 5-2, then it came to 5-4, he had three break points. It may be strange, but that match last year against Nole set him back. I know what it’s like to have a Grand Slam in your hands and not win it. That’s what happened to me in 1998 against Sampras at Wimbledon, and whether you like it or not, you start to lose self-confidence, you start to play differently, you get more and more nervous.”
Ivanisevic went on to reveal that Tsitsipas’ loss of self-confidence and increase in nerves has in turn led to him to argue with his parents whilst competing, another element which has affected his game for the worse when competing in Paris this time around. He continued: “I watch him, he’s very nervous, he argues a lot with his mum and dad.
French Open star Zheng Qinwen ‘wishes she was a man’ after defeat
Djokovic ‘nervous’ ahead of Nadal clash as Serb’s coach spills all
French Open player wishes she could be ‘a man on court’ after ‘girl’ problems during loss
“It’s not the same Tsitsipas from last year who was more focused, he knew what he was doing, he knew how to play.” Despite the tough week, Ivanisevic believes the 23-year-old will return to his scintillating best at some point in the new future, revealing he ‘loves’ the Greek star as a tennis player.
“Honestly, I love him very much as a tennis player,” the acclaimed coach added. “And I want him to make a comeback as soon as possible. I think he can do it.” Away from Tsitsipas’ worries, Ivanisevic’s concentration will be firmly on Djokovic, as the world No. 1 takes on long-time rival Rafael Nadal in a blockbuster quarter-final clash on the French clay on Tuesday evening.