Apostolos Tsitsipas – from a father to a tennis coach (Part 2)

Apostolos Tsitsipas – from a father to a tennis coach (Part 2)

In the early 90s, Apostolos studied training to be a tennis coach for three years in Vienna and Berlin. It was the golden age of German tennis with two major monuments Boris Becker and Steffi Graf.

But his small family demanded a more stable life, and so Apostolos took up a training job at a professional club in Athens. With 10 years of racket experience and seven years of leadership, he has tried to convey them to the students.

A few years later, when Stefanos told his father that he was ready to pursue a really serious tennis career, it was then that Apostolos had to confront himself about this view.

Both father and son have traveled together for nine years and Apostolos has helped his son jump 76 places during that period, from 91 to 15 on the ATP scoreboard. In just one year, Stefanos made a miraculous transformation from Milan, with the title of Next Gen ATP Finals 2018, arrived in London with the ATP Finals 2019 championship in the first time attending.

At the age of 21 and 3 months, Stefanos Tsitsipas has become the youngest champion in ATP Finals history, ever since former world number one Lleyton Hewitt in Sydney in 2001 at the age of 20.

He finished the 2019 season with a record of 54 wins and 25 defeats. ATP Finals is Tsitsipas’s third ATP title of the year, after Marseille in February and Estoril in May.

Although he took his son to set a historic milestone for Greek tennis, Apostolos did not think he was the protagonist. The father who led his son every step of his career just said that he himself was lucky because his son chose him.

According to ATP, this can be considered a rare view among coaches of any sport, especially in the top competition. But in the specific case of Apostolos Tsitsipas it seems to be on the right track.

2019 is the fourth consecutive season, ATP Finals has a new champion. Before Stefanos Tsitsipas, respectively Andy Murray (2016), Grigor Dimitrov (2017) and Alexander Zverev (2018) were crowned.

Apostolos Tsitsipas – from a father to a tennis coach by accident (Part 1)

Apostolos Tsitsipas – from a father to a tennis coach by accident (Part 1)

Just an amateur coach, who has never played tennis, but Apostolos has just 21-year-old son Stefanos Tsitsipas won the ATP Finals 2019.

As a child, Apostolos Tsitsipas used to play football with his brother in fenced yards. When growing up, Apostolos pursued a career in football and also basketball. He had a brief period with the Greek national team.

And if he followed that path, Apostolos would have become the coach of the team rather than turning to the professional tennis route.

An interesting detail is that not all coaches of the world’s top eight players have ever hit at ATP. And among those three were Apostolos.

Normally, with the accumulated experience, the former players will retire after becoming retired coaches. However, the success of others, which Apostolos is a representative, shows that playing before thousands of spectators on the O2 Arena is not a prerequisite to leading a player to the top 10. gender.

Apostolos, along with his wife, Ioulia Salnikova – a former female tennis player in the top 200 WTA, began coaching Stefanos from the age of three. While his father focused on his one-handed backhand and early ball skills, his mother kept the discipline. “Always do your best”, that was the encouraging phrase Stefanos Tsitsipas often heard.

When Stefanos was 12 years old, Apostolos devoted all his time to training his son. He traveled with Stefanos around the world, at youth tournaments. In the coach compartments, people always see the image of a silver-headed father applauding his son.

At the age of 20, Apostolos suddenly decided to switch to the racquet while he was attending his third year at the University of Athens. Three years later, he attended his first tennis tournament – the Greek league.

Since then, the coach has taken Apostolos to play in many places. In addition, he spent two years with his wife while Ioulia Salnikova was playing at the WTA.