World number 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas has admitted that Madrid does not look like an ordinary clay court tournament due to the high altitude and different conditions compared to other clay court tournaments.
Tsitsipas, 23, will be making his fourth appearance for Madrid, so he is no stranger to conditions in the Spanish capital. “I didn’t do anything special to adapt here. I just trained normally, I arrived a little earlier.
It is different from clay court tennis. You don’t really feel like you’re in a clay court tournament, because you’re dealing with the altitude more than the clay itself.
So that’s the last challenge to work on. The hits are different. It is much more difficult to open the court because you are dealing with higher and heavier balls.
It’s more about trying to get the ball onto the court than playing deep and very precisely,” Tsitsipas was quoted as saying by We Love Tennis.
Tsitsipas aims for his first title in Madrid
Tsitsipas made his Madrid debut in 2018, where he suffered an upset loss to Evgeny Donskoy.
Tsitsipas did not have a memorable debut for Madrid but returned to the tournament in 2019 and reached the final. In the 2019 Madrid final, Tsitsipas suffered a straight-set loss to world number one Novak Djokovic.
Last year, Tsitsipas did not have an impressive campaign as Casper Ruud defeated him in the round of 16. The Greek has had a good season on clay so far and he is one of Madrid’s main contenders for the title.
Tsitsipas began his clay-court season three weeks ago in Monte Carlo, where he won his first title of the year. He then played in Barcelona, where he reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz.
Tsitsipas is the No. 4 seed in the Madrid main draw and is bye from the first round of the tournament. He will meet Lucas Pouille or Karen Khachanov in the round of 16 in Madrid.