‘My idol is now my rival’: Tsitsipas’ wild week
YouTube, drones and dreams.
It's been a hell of a week for Greece's newest tennis god Stefanos Tsitsipas who has experienced the highest of highs and the annoyance of having to stick to Australia's strict airspace laws.
The emerging star said the feeling of defeating his idol Roger Federer at the Australian Open would stay with him for the rest of his life, with many of his 20 years already spent soaking up the Swiss master's game.
"(The feeling was) a flashback of, I don't know, just happiness, pure happiness," Tsitsipas beamed post-match.
"It was a very emotional moment. It was something - a beginning of something really big. I felt joy. I felt happiness. I felt a huge relief going out of my shoulders.
"That moment is definitely something that I will never, ever, ever forget. This match point is going to stay, I'm pretty much sure, forever, for the rest of my life."
The flashback, he said, was one that recalled the countless hours of watching the 20-time grand slam winner.
"I just managed to close that match and stay strong, beat my idol," he said.
"My idol today became pretty much my rival."
Now that he has conquered his idol, Tsitsipas said he can "for sure" go all the way.
"That's why I'm here. That's why I'm playing, for the trophy, for the title," he said.
"I feel good. I really want it badly. I really want to proceed further in the tournament, to make myself happy and the people that are cheering for me happy.
"I really like this atmosphere that's on the court, the whole dynamic of it. It just feels so nice to be playing on these courts. It's spectacular. I really want to stay here as long as possible. That's my goal."
The 20-year-old 14th seed said he often watched Federer's 2001 Wimbledon clash with Pete Sampras - an iconic passing of the baton battle.
"I haven't watched that match here in Melbourne yet. Actually, that was fourth round, as well. That's crazy. What a coincidence," he said.
"I did watch that match when I was playing Wimbledon, grass courts. I did watch couple of his matches in the past that he played on hard courts.
"I watched few highlights of him on the best possible platform: YouTube … I'm not paid to say it.
"Yeah, I kind of watch some highlights of players that beat him in grand slams. It was actually not Rafa, Djokovic, but some other players that have beaten him in the past US Open. Very similar game style like me. I will not say which player. He did beat him in US Open a few years ago.
"It was a good example to see the way he played, the way he fought into the match to get that win. I'm pretty sure that helped today."
Tsitsipas is a keen photographer, videographer and social media regular, and revealed he had been forced to rip down an impressive video he spent "hours" shooting in Sydney.
"I had to delete it for some reasons. I did realise this footage from Sydney is not allowed, it's not allowed to fly drones in the city," he lamented.
"I mean, for the better good, not to get in trouble, I prefer not to have that video online.
"But it was a very nice video. It took me hours to make. It actually was really spectacular. It was nice to watch. But unfortunately I don't want to get into trouble because of that."