STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: BELIEVE IN DOING WHAT YOU CAN’T
Whatever you want to smash, Stefanos Tsitsipas says you’ve got to be in a believer mindset.
One of six creators in the VRCT campaign, breakout tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas chooses to represent the word BELIEVER. Early in the season, we grabbed a few mins with him to find out more.
Tsitsipas’ signature style is an unusual one-handed backhand, which sets the tone for the kind of guy he is – someone a bit different. Magazine profiles say he’s something of an outsider. But maybe they’re just not used to a player like him. Take his YouTube channel, where you’ll find chats to camera interspersed with beautiful self-shot travel footage and surprisingly high production values. Or his other Instagram of street and portrait photography, often accompanied by philosophical musings. Fall into his quirky, creative, Gen Z world, and you might forget he’s also a powerful, accomplished pro who’s been tipped as the next big thing in tennis. And he believes he can be that player.
Without belief I won’t be able to get there and be in the spotlight, in front of attention, in front of big crowds, representing and fighting for myself.
At just 21, Tsitsipas is the highest-ranked Greek player in history, with a career high of sixth in the world. He’s still young; so is his professional career. Plenty of time to achieve even more. He’s easy-going: calm on the court and playful off it. But he’s totally serious about what he wants to do. He says: “I have a lot of goals in front of me that I haven’t achieved yet. The definition of that would be getting to the very top of the circuit, of the rankings.
I want to win titles, tournaments that have big value.” This is where belief comes into play: “Without belief I won’t be able to get there and be in the spotlight, in front of attention, in front of big crowds, representing and fighting for myself.”
For Tsitsipas, being a believer is “a process” to achieve success. You probably know the basic principles of sports psychology – visualizing success, shutting out distractions – but they don’t mean much without self-belief. Belief is like a muscle that gets stronger, and he says: “I think belief is when you wake up every single day thinking that you can become better and become stronger than the day before. Without belief, you’re not actually improving, if you’re not in this kind of mindset every single day of your life.”
Without belief, you’re not actually improving, if you’re not in this kind of mindset every single day of your life.
He has so much to say on the subject: “Without belief or purpose, for me, there’s nothing to chase, there’s nothing to fight for. I always want more, and I always want better.” Tsitsipas doesn’t need to fake it till he makes it. His believer mindset is so genuine, it feels as strong as his serve. But he’s happy to talk about the times he didn’t have it. He says: “Yeah, there were moments in my career, my very early career, that I didn’t quite believe I had the game or the potential to be as high as other players, simply because I didn’t have the experience.”
I always want more, and I always want better.
He adds: “I was never in that state of mind to believe that my tennis could be really big. Because I lacked confidence, I lacked belief in my game and then when I realized I have to believe and I have to fight for my rights and I have to fight for my game, it’s like a survival. Every day you go out on the court you have to survive the match, you have to survive your thoughts, your opponent.”
On our shoot, he’s surrounded by family – both parents and three younger siblings, all tennis-mad. In fact, his mum was ranked world number one as a youth player, and his dad remains his coach. They’re all behind his incredible self-belief, helping him through the downsides: “Big expectations, a lot of pressure, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of sacrifice”.
Nothing comes easy, right? But Tsitsipas concludes: “I choose to be a believer because I’m a person who always chases and always fights for more, day by day. I’m never satisfied.”
Every day you go out on the court you have to survive the match, you have to survive your thoughts, your opponent.
We designed the VRCT jacket as a canvas for self-expression, inspired by athletic tradition. Wear it your way, with a custom patch that shows what you stand for. What do you represent?