Tsitsipas abre o coração: «Pensei que ia fazer amigos no ténis e aconteceu o contrário»

Tsitsipas abre o coração: «Pensei que ia fazer amigos no ténis e aconteceu o contrário»

Por José Morgado - julho 31, 2020

Stefanos Tsitsipas tem apenas 21 anos mas já é uma das principais estrelas do ténis mundial. O melhor jogador da história da Grécia, sexto do ranking ATP e campeão das ATP Finals em 2019, abriu o coração ao site ‘Behind the Racquet’, do norte-americano Noah Rubin, e falou de alguns temas delicados da sua carreira e da sua vida sem grandes tabus.

“No início viajava apenas com o meu pai. Agora levo comigo também a minha mãe e os meus três irmãos. Sou a maior fonte de rendimento da minha família. Em 2018, quando entrei no top 15, percebi o potencial que tinha”, confessou o grego, que assume gostar de fazer outras coisas para além do ténis. Tenho hobbies que me mantêm interessado em diferentes aspectos da vida. Essas atividades mantêm-me criativo e refletem-se no meu ténis. Às vezes, eu posto coisas nas minhas redes sociais que muitas pessoas não entendem. Esses posts expressam a minha criatividade interior.”

Tsitsipas lembra o momento em que duvidou do seu potencial. Felizmente para ele, não durou muito. “Houve alturas em que as coisas não me estavam a sair tão bem, estava a jogar Futures e duvidei de que era capaz. O meu país estava à beira da bancarrota, os meus tios estavam desempregados e não tinham como sustentar as suas casas. Senti-me parte do problema, senti-me isolado. Precisei de ajuda e o psicólogo ajudou-me bastante nessa fase.”

Stefanos admite que nunca teve muitos amigos, nem no ténis, nem fora do court. “Sempre fui uma criança introvertida e com poucos amigos. Quando comecei a jogar ténis e a viajar achei que ia fazer alguns, mas aconteceu exatamente o contrário, porque os tenistas guardam muita coisa para eles mesmos. Sinto que os jogadores não gostam de ser amigos uns dos outros pois temem que os seus segredos sejam descobertos. São demasiado sérios. Mas os amigos fariam desta caminhada menos solitária”.

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“In 2018, I broke into the Top 15 and was seeded in Grand Slams. That's when I understood my potential. In the beginning, I traveled with only my dad. Now, I travel with my dad, mom, and three siblings. I'm the main source of income for my family. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I have hobbies that keep me interested in different aspects of life. These activities keep me creative and are reflected in my tennis game. Sometimes, I post things on my social media that not many people understand. These posts express my inner creativity. I put Stefanos’ twist on life. I am philosophical, I come from a country with a history of philosophy and I don't know if I was Pythagoras or Socrates in my previous life, but I wouldn't mind being either one. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ There was a time when I wasn't doing well. I started to play futures and was doubting myself. I wasn't sure if I was good enough to play professional tennis. My country was on the verge of bankruptcy. The entire population was suffering. My father's siblings were unemployed and couldn't feed their families. People looked at me like I was the one ruling the country and they thought I was part of the problem. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I felt isolated. I wasn't home to see what was going on because I was traveling. I needed support. My mental coach shared his wisdom and inspired me. Then I said to myself, ‘You've dedicated your entire life to tennis, you can't just give up. You’ve got to keep going.’ I play tennis to prove that my country has a great history and can achieve success. Tennis is a very introverted sport and we face everything alone. We have a team that follows us all over the world but I have spent countless sleepless nights on my own. All the traveling and competing causes a lot of stress and I grew very lonely.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I was an introverted child and didn't have many friends. When I started playing on tour, I thought I would develop friendships but it turned out to be the opposite. Most players keep to themselves. I feel like players don't want to become friends because they think someone will grab a secret from you to beat you. I guess they're just too serious about the whole thing. Friends would make traveling less lonely.⁣⁣” @stefanostsitsipas98 #BTR

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José Morgado
Jornalista do Jornal Record e Comentador Sport TV. Ténis 24/7.