22-year-old Greek tennis sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas almost broke down in a recent interview when asked about a drastic accident that could have cost him his life five years ago. The young legend-in-the-making still can't shake off memories of the mishap that befell him while swimming at a beach in October 2016.
But the very fact that he could gather enough courage to move on with his life instead of feeling tied down by the trauma shows that he’s a true fighter. It hasn’t taken Tsitsipas long to rank among the top 10 ATP players and grab a career ranking of world number 6. He's the highest-ranked Greek tennis player in history, and today, we're taking a close look at his inspirational story.
A family of experienced tennis players
Tsitsipas’ family has always been into sports, with his mother and father being professional tennis players. The passion his parents had for the sport largely influenced his tennis career. Having started training at a young age, Tsitsipas was trained in an academy run by Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams' coach.
From the age of 20, Tsitsipas started climbing the stairs of success. The 2019 Australian Open was where the world got the first peek of his tennis prowess when he defeated his idol, Roger Federer in the semi-finals. The simple man who once struggled with shyness has never looked back since, and today, he holds 4 ATP titles.
The life-changing incident that young Tsitsipas went through
In October 2016, Tsitsipas and one of his friends went swimming at the coast of Crete. The day was quite stormy, so the plan to take a swim in the turbulent waters was quite risky. But being young and carefree, the two young boys still decided to stick to their idea. Shortly after, a sudden threatening current pulled both of them out to the sea, where they couldn't even swim anymore. With the storm becoming more aggressive, the waves too started getting taller, making both of them feel helpless in the ocean. Fortunately, his father, Apostolos Tsitsipas, dived in and helped them reach back at the beach.
Needless to say, the trauma from the incident had a significant impact on Tsitsipas’ life. While on the one hand his concept of life completely transformed, on the other, it disturbed him so much that he still finds it hard to get over the feeling he experienced all those years ago.
The accident’s effect on Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas’ attitude towards life and his relationship with his father improved after the incident. The rising star once said in an interview, that the accident has made him a better person and opened his outlook. He has started considering negative situations as opportunities to grow and flourish.
Well, we could all learn a thing or two from the driven sportsman. When difficult situations (much like the current pandemic) confront us, instead of feeling tied down by them, we should all look at them as chances to improve ourselves. And come to think of it, that’s the best way to progress, isn’t it?