Stefanos Tsitsipas says his grandmother died 5 minutes before French Open final vs. Novak Djokovic

·2-min read
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reacts during the awarding ceremony after the Men's Singles finals match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, June 13, 2021. (Photo by Gao Jing/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Stefanos Tsitsipas says his grandmother died just five minutes before he played and lost the French Open finals match against Novak Djokovic. (Photo by Gao Jing/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas established himself as a formidable opponent at the French Open, slicing through the competition and coming very close to beating Novak Djokovic, one of the greatest of all time, in the final. 

But there was more on Tsitsipas' mind during the final match than beating Djokovic. In an Instagram post on Monday, Tsitsipas revealed that his beloved grandmother had died just minutes before he stepped onto the court.

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"Life isn't about winning or losing. It's about enjoying every single moment in life whether that's alone or with others. Living a meaningful life without misery and abjection. Lifting trophies and celebrating wins is something, but not everything. 5 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. 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."

Despite the circumstances, Tsitsipas, who is from Greece, didn't betray that anything was wrong. He played a strong match, taking the first two sets before being overwhelmed by Djokovic in the final three. 

Several minutes after the match was over, Tsitsipas sat down in his sideline chair and buried his head in a towel. It appeared that the emotions of losing a match (especially one he'd been so close to winning) had gotten to him. Now we know that it may have been about so much more. 

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