Stefanos Tsitsipas announced late on Sunday that he learned of his beloved grandmother’s passing just five minutes before the start of the Roland Garros final against Novak Djokovic.
In an emotional farewell to his grandmother, who died in her village near Karditsa, central Greece, Tsitsipas revealed that “Five minutes before entering the court my very beloved grandmother lost her battle with life. A wise woman whose faith in life, and willingness to give and provide can’t be compared to any other human being that I have ever met.”
In an Instagram post he added: “It’s important to have more people like her in this world. Because people like her make you come alive. They make you dream. I would like to say that regardless of the day, circumstance or situation, this is entirely dedicated to her, and only her. Thank you for for raising my father. Without him this wouldn’t have been possible.”
Stavroula Tsitsipas, who lived in the village of Proastio, in 2019 had spoken of her pride in her grandson’s achievements at the Australian Open in a touching interview from her village.
“I cannot enjoy his success as much, because I am blind,” she explained in an interview published by the Greek newspaper Espresso.
“I consoled myself when Stefanos called me and said, ‘Grandma, I will come back soon, do not worry.’”
Stavroula Tsitsipas’ eyesight had deteriorated gradually for many years, and she has been completely blind for the last five years.
“I can’t watch on TV what he is doing. But I hear his voice, and I shed tears of pride,” the Tsitsipas family matriarch said with great emotion.
The 22-year-old Greek Champion Tsitsipas lost a tough five-setter against World No. 1 Djokovic. But in his Instagram post, the Greek put the loss in perspective.
“Life isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about enjoying every single moment in life whether that’s alone or with others,” Tsitsipas wrote. “[It is about] living a meaningful life without misery and abjection. Lifting trophies and celebrating wins is something, but not everything.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas falls to Novak Djokovic in the final
Tsitsipas reached the first Grand Slam final of his career, but failed just short to the World Number One Novak Djokovic.
After a dramatic game lasting more than four hours, Djokovic won 3-2, coming from behind at 0-2 down. Djokovic is the first man to win all four majors at least twice in the open era.
Tsitsipas won the first two sets 7-6, 62. But the Serb master came back. He won the third and fourth 6-3, 6-2. In the decider Djokovic broke early Tsitsipas serve, and won 6-4. The 34-year-old Serb found his form and held every service game in the final three sets
At just 22, tennis pandits agree that the Greek champion will be back on this stage plenty more times. The day will come and not long from now, but he didn’t quite have the staying power to get it done today.
Looking forward to the years to come 👍#RolandGarros | @steftsitsipas pic.twitter.com/7ueTuYZTu4
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 13, 2021