The Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, overwhelmed in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros by the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz, said that the world number 1 moves "like Speedy Gonzales", in reference to the famous cartoon mouse.
The Greek, who fell in the final two years ago to Serbia's Novak Djokovic, refused to give a favorite for the semi-final that will pit the latter against the Spaniard, but said he is "on the side of youth".
"One has the experience, the other the legs, he moves like Speedy Gonzales. One can get incredible shots, the other has the control and pressure he puts on the opponent, "he analyzed.
"He moves like Speedy Gonzales," Stefanos Tsitsipas said of Carlitos Alcaraz. Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier.
Tsitsipas blamed his poor performance in the first two sets on taking melatonin to nap before the match and adapt to the evening schedule.
"I won't do it again, it didn't sit well with me. I did it because these changes of hours were affecting the programming of my sleep and for me it is essential to be able to rest to recover, "said the Greek, who clarified that with that he did not want to "take away merit from Alcaraz".
"Programming has been a bit difficult for a few days now. I've had sessions at night, not too late, but enough for me, to deregulate my sleep schedule," Tsitsipas said.
"And sleep is vital, essential. Recovery is the most important thing in competition and when you play Grand Slam," he continued.
"I don't want to take anything away from Carlos, he's a guy who plays very well... But I get angry that melatonin has had this effect on me. We keep moving forward!" he concluded.
For Alcaraz, "Djokovic is the favorite"
After passing over the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (5th), Carlos Alcaraz appeared at a press conference on Tuesday and mainly spoke of Novak Djokovic, his rival on Friday in the semifinals of Roland Garros, whom he described as "favorite".
"It's not to throw balls out or take the pressure off. If it's Novak, it's the favorite. He has won two titles here and if he has not won more it is because he has coincided with the best in history on clay (Rafael Nadal)," Alcaraz said at the stroke of local midnight.
"For me it's amazing to play a Grand Slam semi-final against Djokovic, who I've seen millions of times in semi-finals and finals. He's one of the best in history, he has 45 Grand Slam semi-finals, that number says it all."
Carlos Alcaraz played a great match against Stefanos Tsitsipas and now he goes for Djokovic. Photo: EFE/EPA/CAROLINE BLUMBERG.
An hour earlier he had dispatched Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1 and 7-6 (7/5), in a duel in which he played at a spectacular level until the last moment, in which he was distracted and was close to losing the third set.
"In the match I knew I was being superior and that I was controlled, I wanted to continue in that line, with that streak, but in the end it has passed and I have lost my mind," he said.
"But what happened to me today will help me not to happen against Djokovic. If you get distracted for two or three minutes, you get water up to your neck," he continued.
The Spaniard was asked what he liked most about Djokovic: "How well he hits the ball, whether it's forehand, backhand, serve, the good hand he has, that fascinates me. It is very difficult to see holes. Their standard level is very high."
They also suggested that winning Djokovic would help Nadal in their fight to finish with the most Grand Slam titles – they are tied at 22.
"It's something I don't think, I already said it, I don't come here to put myself in the middle of the one who has the most Grand Slams. We think about ourselves, we want to win more Grand Slams and that's the only thing that matters to me."
With information from Agencies