Stefanos Tsitsipas dedicated his triumph at the Monte Carlo Masters to his coach back in Greece and his mother. The Greek sensation beat Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-3 to claim his first Masters 1000 title.
It was not just a historic moment on the court for the Tsitsipas family, but also off it after the World No.5 joined his mother on the honour roll at the Monte Carlo Country Club. Thirty years prior to Tsitsipas' victory, his mother, Julia Salnikova had claimed a junior title at the same venue.
"[To share] this is incredible. [The] first time I walked in that club, the Monte-Carlo Country Club, with my mom, I think that was when I was six years old. She showed me her name up there. I remember seeing it for the first time. I was stunned. I was like, 'Wow. That is really cool.' How cool is that?" Tsitsipas said after his win over Rublev, as quoted on the ATP website.
The 22-year-old Athens-born star admitted that he had not thought about emulating his mother at the start of the tournament but once he got within touching distance of the trophy, it provided him with extra motivation to go all the way.
"I didn't think about it in the beginning of the tournament, but it came to my mind when I was playing the semi-finals," Tsitsipas said. "I was thinking that [it] would be really cool to be in this together, like mother like son. That's where the whole purpose came from. I feel like there was an enormous amount of willingness to want to do more in order to be there with my mom."
"[There are] two people I would like to dedicate this [title to]. My coach back in Greece, who I mentioned [in the trophy ceremony], and also my mom, because she pushed me to aim for that."
Tsitsipas was at his dominant best throughout the tournament but stepped it up a notch once he entered the last four of the competition. He lost just nine games over four sets as he overcame Dan Evans and Rublev to lift the trophy.
The World No.5 also became only the third active player to win his first Masters 1000 title without dropping a set with Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov, the other two players to achieve the feat.
Tsitsipas' service game was at its best in the championship game against Rublev but he revealed another interesting key to his victory while speaking after the match.
"Breathing is something I've been working on [in] the past couple of months with my psychologist," Tsitsipas added. "I find breathing very important, especially when I'm performing or playing. Breathing helps me control myself and have full control of what I'm doing out there.
"It is definitely something that I've been putting a lot of work [into] in the past couple of weeks with him. Actually, this week more than the other weeks, doing it daily after every single match that I played... When you breathe well, I feel like your game is capable of reaching the top."