Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas dedicated his French Open runner-up trophy to his grandmother, posting a message on his Instagram account where he said she died just minutes before the final began on Sunday.
Tsitsipas lost an epic five-set French Open final against world No 1 Novak Djokovic but had already created a new milestone in his career by reaching this far at a Major for the first time.
In an Instagram post early Monday morning, the 22-year-old dedicated his first Grand Slam runner-up trophy to her after Djokovic overturned a two-set deficit to win 6-7 (6/8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 and secure his 19th Grand Slam title.
“Five minutes before entering the court my very beloved grandmother lost her battle with life. A wise woman whose faith in life, and willingness to give and provide can’t be compared to any other human being that I have ever met,” Tsitsipas wrote of the grandmother on his father’s side.
“It’s important to have more people like her in this world. Because people like her make you come alive. They make you dream.”
Tsitsipas is widely seen as one of the heirs to the sport’s “Big Three” of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The Greek star, known for his philosophical approach off court, said there are more important things in life than winning trophies.
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