Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas exited the ATP Masters at Indian Wells, but said he no longer gets too bothered by defeats – after battling severe elbow pain last season, simply competing at a high level on a tennis court is his “biggest happiness.”
The 23-year-old world number five started briskly against American Jenson Brooksby in the third round of the tournament on Monday before going down 1-6 6-3 6-2.
The pain in Tsitsipas’ elbow was so bad last year that the French Open runner-up considered walking away from tennis altogether, but after successful surgery he has once again had deep runs in 2022.
“Honestly, I’m not very frustrated,” Tsitsipas told reporters after his loss. “My arm is good. I’m happy I’m on the court playing. I’m happy I’m competing. I’m motivated. I want to achieve things this year. I’ll see where I can bring that, where I can reach.
“I really hope I can do well in big tournaments. But of course with the things that I’ve had before, I’m much more appreciative. I don’t see any negative sides to anything,” he said.
Tsitsipas has previously said that his doctor was stunned by how quickly he recovered from the operation late last year.
In 2022 the Greek has made the semi-finals of the Australian Open and the ATP 500 event in Acapulco, and also reached the title round at Rotterdam last month.
“There’s a side where I’m playing, it’s way better than I would ever have thought,” Tsitsipas said, summing up his 2022 season so far.
“The fact that I’m playing on court, it brings me the biggest happiness and joy for a very long time, having suffered with chronic elbow problems.” [Reuters]