Tennis

How Greek Freak was almost an Aussie

Could Stefanos Tsitsipas have been representing Australia in his epic grand slam run?

Well, the might have been rejected by the Greek star but it was certainly mooted.

In a column for the Sunday Times, Australian tennis great Pat Cash revealed that there was a time in the 20-year-old’s "formative years where he almost became an adopted Australian".

“The Greek economy is not exactly conducive to funding upcoming sports stars. So with Melbourne possessing the largest Greek population of any city in the world outside of Greece, the possibilities were obvious.

“Tennis Australia explored the possibilities and were given quite a bit of encouragement. Less talented players and certainly more problematic youngsters have ended up with an Australian passport. There would have been none of the headaches created by Bernard Tomic, for instance."

Tsitsipas ended up training under the guidance of Patrick Mouratoglou – who currently coaches Serena Williams – in France as a teenager.

Cash said the "switch of nationality did not happen" due to "reasons best known to Tennis Australia and the Tsitsipas family", but the man himself said there was no question of his allegiance.

“I know Tennis Australia is a great federation, they support their players very well,” Tsitsipas told Nine shortly after his victory over Roger Federer. “But playing for my country, playing for Greece, is the biggest honour I could ever have.”

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tennis | news.com.au — Australia’s #1 news site

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