Stefanos Tsitsipas’s mother appeared to take a sly dig at her son as she spoke on a plethora of topics, including the world number five’s heated rivalry with Daniil Medvedev.
Julia Apostoli, speaking in the aftermath of Roger Federer’s retirement from the sport, claimed that the Swiss’ rivalry with leading Grand Slam titles winner Rafael Nadal was a noble match-up between the “two ideals of tennis.”
World number four Daniil Medvedev, priced at +425 to win the Australian Open in tennis betting, sits just one place above Tsitsipas and their relatively small gulf in class has led to some explosive matches in recent years. Most notably, all the way back in the 2018 Miami Open an on-court exchange escalated to the point where the Greek allegedly labelled his opponent a “bulls*** Russian” before Medvedev fired back, saying “shut the f*** up”.
Tsitsi passes in final!
6th final of the season for Stefanos Tsitsipas who recovers a set down to beat Andrey Rublev 4-6 6-4 6-3
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) October 8, 2022
While the likes of Tsitsipas and Medvedev are at the forefront of the next generation of tennis stars with the ‘Big-3’ all entering the twilight of their careers, the former is yet to claim a Grand Slam while the latter has one US Open to his name at 26 – Federer had eight by this point in his career.
“Nadal and Federer did not have such a conflict,” the 24-year-old’s mum told Championat.
“No offence will be said, but Roger and Nadal were the ideals of tennis in their time.
“I’m not yet ready to say that Medvedev and Tsitsipas are ideal players. There is room to grow.”
Throughout an incredible interview, Apostoli gave her take on the respect the ‘Fedal’ rivalry commands after so many fierce battle over the years. When speaking of the fireworks seen in recent Tsitsipas-Medvedev match-ups, she added: “I don’t think there’s anything special. Daniil is such a person by nature; if he doesn’t like something, he won’t keep it in himself for a long time. He expresses his opinion on many things.
“Styopa [nickname for Tsitsipas] is more of an introvert, although it’s hard to tell from him. He had to become an extrovert by virtue of his profession. He has no such negative feelings towards anyone.”
Tsitsipas featured at Federer’s recent retirement where the Swiss featured on the court for the last time at the Laver Cup – himself and Casper Ruud joined the ‘Big Four’ on Team Europe.