I should have trusted my instincts earlier, says beaten Tsitsipas

By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) - Stefanos Tsitsipas regretted not having played his usual instinctive game in his 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1 semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the French Open on Friday.
The Greek, who finished fifth at Roland Garros, came back from the sidelines to force the Serbian into a decision that re-emerged a recent injury and killed the tired Tsitsipas's chances.
However, the world number six believes he made a "big mistake" by not being more instinctive on the Philippe Chatrier pitch at the start of the game.
"I wish I could have found out certain things sooner, which, I don't know, was a total runaway, the fact that I tried these things in practice and tried to implement them in the game," Tsitsipas saved a match point in the third Sentence said a press conference.
"It was something new. I wish I hadn't tried these things and tried to stick to my usual and basic way of feeling the ball and also dictating the game.
"I think it was a big mistake today, that I tried this two sentences in a row and then went back to my old way of working."
That more instinctive approach worked much better for the 22-year-old, who began converting his breakpoints, turning the tide in spectacular ways, and forcing Djokovic to occupy the barricades until the Greek ran out of steam.
"He gave me a very difficult time on the pitch. Unfortunately, towards the end of the game, an injury came back from my game in Rome," said Tsitsipas.
"As you saw, it was a good comeback and I think I played great tennis after that, with the exception of the fifth set, which I don't think my body was ready for," he added.
"Physically, I wasn't really there."
Tsitsipas had hoped to be the first Greek to reach a Grand Slam final, and although the defeat would have struck him, it was a marked improvement on his last semifinal appearance in a major when he finished 6-2, 6 : Rafael Nadal was beaten 4, 6: 0 at the Australian Open last year.
"Well, when I think back to the Australian Open, I was just a kid and now I'm growing up more," said Tsitsipas.
"My thinking has changed. I have matured. I've been through a lot of things. I grew out of the people around me, my relationships, people in general ...
"Of course, I have more experience in my pocket than before. I've played games. I've experienced different things. I know when something is good or not and I think I can dictate it earlier."
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)

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