Virus concerns causing mental fatigue, says Tsitsipas

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: French Open
FILE PHOTO: French Open

(Reuters) - The severely depleted tennis calendar in 2020 reduced the physical burden on players but the mental fatigue has been unusual amid the health concerns and protocols due to the novel coronavirus, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas has said.

Fatigue usually starts to show on players as the circuit hits the final lap in November after the Asian swing in September-October but all tournaments in the region were cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

The tennis circuit was suspended in March to contain the spread of the flu-like disease and only restarted in August ahead of the U.S. Open in New York.

"I feel good. I don't feel exhausted, because I have played not that many tournaments this year, so I don't really have a reason to be exhausted," world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas told reporters on Sunday ahead of the Paris Masters.

"The part that makes it more tiring than usual is for sure the virus itself and all the things that keep showing up and the changes that are happening. I would say that that's the biggest challenge that we are facing right now."

The reigning ATP Finals champion recently took a vacation with compatriot Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA's two-times Most Valuable Player, and Tsitsipas said it was a great experience and he had plenty to learn from the Milwaukee Bucks forward.

Tsitsipas, 22, won in Marseille and reached the final in Dubai before the circuit was halted.

After the resumption of the professional Tour he reached the final in Hamburg and the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

"I think this year my attitude has improved a lot," Tsitsipas said.

"And also, my tranquillity and how calm I am on the court have given me a lot of matches and also a lot of confidence in believing in myself when tough situations show up in the match."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond)