Stefanos Tsitsipas ended Team Europe’s Laver Cup after a resilient Francis Tiafoe detonated four of the Greek’s match points, propelling him to victory in two straight tiebreakers. The match win gave Team World the Laver Cup for the first time in the event’s five-year history. Tsitsipas was left wondering “what just happened.”

The truth is that while he wields a crushing forehand, dominant serve and volley skills for days, he could tweak a few things and quickly improve his ranking of number six in the world. Here’s a to do list for Tsitsipas as the ATP tennis season winds to a close.

Figure Out The Service Motion

The end of the Tsitsipas service motion has been scrutinized, maligned and generally picked on for inducing too much of a fall to the left after he’s finished. Whether that is a function of his toss or wanting to protect his one-handed backhand is unclear. But it is hard to find a Tsitsipas match these days where the commentators don’t mention this aspect of his serve. To do for Stef: Find a good strategist who can do a breakdown to figure out if it’s a liability or if he should simply ignore the noise.

Every sport has stars with unconventional technique. Golfer Jim Furyk’s backswing comes to mind. The reality is that Tsitsipas has a Top 10 ATP serve rating and wins over 85% of his service games, which is stellar. But get to the bottom of it!

Shore Up the Coaching

Tsitsipas is a family guy. He loves his parents and his siblings. When your father is also your coach, that’s complicating. The dozens of coaching controversies involving Apostolos haven’t helped. Tsitsipas has also added Mark Philippoussis to his coaching box. Throw into the equation that Stefanos is part of the Patrick Mouratoglou conglomerate, and you begin to see that there are many voices around him. Tsitsipas manages it well, but it might be time to simplify the one-on-one communication, as Novak Djokovic has done. Now that on-court coaching is allowed, it’s more important than ever to do that. At 24 years old, it’s crucial to take agency of your own career.

Continue To Develop Slice Backhand

Watching the two Tsitsipas matches at Laver Cup, I was reminded just how much Stef’s opponents target his one-handed backhand. It’s crazy. Somewhat paradoxically but not unexpectedly, the more he’s forced to hit shots off that wing, the better the strokes get. It’s really hard to break down the Tsitsipas drive backhand. But it’s an open secret that his slice backhand was never fully developed. He made progress and used it to win a grass-court tournament this year, but it needs more use. Keep deploying it under pressure, Stef. It will come.

Take Down Tommy Paul

Ok this is a joke. Sort of. The American alternate at Laver Cup was heard on camera trash-talking Tsitsipas during a changeover in Sunday’s match against Tiafoe. While Paul is 0-2 against Tsitsipas, never having taken a set off the Greek, it’s time for a reminder of who’s the Top 10 and who isn’t. There’s no guarantee the two will meet again, but there’s always  opportunity at the Paris Masters. Tsitsipas is also slated for the ATP Finals, while Paul is not.

Show ’em who’s boss, Stef. And speaking of Boss, shop for a better clothing deal, like that of Matteo Berrettini. You’re a star. You deserve better.


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