‘He’s a very selfish person’: Greek star’s cheeky Novak jibe after quelling Aussie threat


No.7 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas needed three match points and saved five set points against before ending the gutsy challenge of Australia’s Jordan Thompson in their Australian Open second round match – then fired a cheeky light-hearted sledge the way of Novak Djokovic.

The Greek giant was beaten in straight sets by Djokovic in last year’s final and has yet to win a slam.

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He was asked by John McEnroe after his 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 7-6 win over Thompson what it would take to break through and win a maiden slam and his thoughts turned to Djokovic, who was engaging in his own Australian battle against Alexei Popyrin on the nearby Rod Laver Arena.

“It’s one of two scenarios. Numbers don’t lie. Novak has been able to win here 12 times. He’s a very selfish person!” joked Tsitsipas.

Stefanos Tsitsipas. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

“I think he just manages to wake up feeling less selfish and a sharing is caring more type of vibe … So there are two scenarios – whether somebody needs to beat Novak who is not me, or it has to be me.”

Having received a customary strong welcome by Greek fans in the crowd he looked to have the match well under control after a blip in the opeing set.

But serving for the match in the fourth his first serve deserted him. It was a mess in a thrilling 12th game as Thompson had ample opportunity and five chances to claim the set and send it into a fifth before Tsitsipas scraped his way to a tie break. He made no mistake from there as his service power and accuracy returned at just the right moment.

“Today was raining. I was feeling sleepy. Drank Red Bull and was ready to go,” he said.

What. A. Match.

Jordan Thompson goes down swinging, but its @steftsitsipas‘ night.

The 2023 #AusOpen runner-up wins an entertaining and enthralling encounter 4-6 7-6(6) 6-2 7-6(4).@wwos@espn@eurosport@wowowtennis pic.twitter.com/xZZoasEpNc

— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 17, 2024

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