Can Stefanos Tsitsipas defeat Rafa and then his likely final opponent, Novak Djokovic? The twenty year old’s mother played professional tennis and met his father, an ardent player and coach at a WTA event. His maternal grandfather was an Olympic gold medal winning Russian soccer player.
Like ice water veined Serena Williams, the young man had a life threatening event he got through apparently enhancing his courage under pressure, a near drowning in which his father saved his life. Serena had a pulmonary embolus threatening her life. Stefanos demonstrated the ice water that runs through his veins in his defeat of; 1) the GOAT, Roger Federer a few days ago and 2) the 2009 Djokovic conqueror without a defeat in 2009, Agut, in their recent match.
Why can he defeat Rafa and Djokovic? He defeated Novak in a Masters 1000 event in Toronto last year. He lost to Nadal in the tight final but has noted he learned he could beat him in that match that ended with a tie break.
Why might he be able to defeat the great Raphael Nadal? I think the following pertains: 1) His serve is superior to Rafa’s; 2) he has more reach at the baseline and at the net; 3) his 6’4” height will largely eliminate the potential Rafa advantage of kicking high bounces to his backhand; 4) there are no visible weaknesses in his game; 5) Federer had handled Rafa well on hard courts the past several years but couldn’t do so with Tsitsipas; 6) Tsitsipas’ aggressive game is extremely powerful with more zip to his serves than Rafa and just as much punch on his groundstrokes; 7) He appears to be every bit as good as Rafa under pressure and 8) His young legs will neutralize the conditioned legs of Nadal.
In conclusion, I give Tsitsipas the edge tomorrow and in the final versus his likely opponent, Novak Djokovic.
H. Robert Rubin, best selling Amazon memoirist with two books available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?