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Wimbledon: Stefanos Tsitsipas targets ‘big four’ stranglehold


Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas was ranked 37th in the world at this time last year
Fever-Tree Championships
Venue:Queen’s Club, LondonDates:17-23 June
Coverage:Live on BBC TV and online with live text and radio coverage on selected matches.

World number six Stefanos Tsitsipas says he and other young players must “take responsibility” to end the older generation’s Wimbledon stranglehold.

Since Lleyton Hewitt’s win in 2002, the following 16 men’s singles titles have been won by the ‘big four’ of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray.

“I would love to see something different this year. Hopefully it will be me,” said 20-year-old Greek Tsitsipas. “It would give it a little bit of variety, something different.”

Tsitsipas, who begins his Fever-Tree Championships campaign at Queen’s Club against British number one Kyle Edmund on Tuesday, added: “Some don’t want to take the responsibility of going out and overcoming all those difficulties and beat those guys.

“We are responsible as the new generation to work hard to come up with something new and our best games to beat them.”

German great Boris Becker, citing the fact that Austria’s Dominic Thiem is the only active player under the age of 28 to have played in a Grand Slam final, said this month that “mindset and attitude” were holding back younger players.

Tsitsipas also suggested German world number five Alexander Zverev, Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, Americans Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe and Australian Alex de Minaur as players who could upset the old order.

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Edmund’s best run at Queen’s came in 2016 when he lost to Andy Murray in the quarter-finals

The match against Tsitsipas, who has beaten Nadal and Federer this season – will be Edmund’s first since he limped out of the French Open second round in May.

Edmund, the 24-year-old world number 29, said: “It’s obviously tough in terms of he’s played a lot, and won a lot, this year, but at the same time it’s almost a very ideal situation where there’s no pressure on me to do well. Almost everything is on him.”

Edmund has won six of 16 Tour-level matches this season and slipped from 14th in the world at the start of the year.

British number two Cameron Norrie takes on 2018 Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson on Monday, while compatriot and qualifier James Ward plays France’s Gilles Simon.

Dan Evans, fresh from winning grass-court title in Surbiton and Nottingham, faces three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, and wildcard Jay Clarke is up against France’s Lucas Pouille.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray makes his return after five months out and a career-saving hip operation in Wednesday’s doubles alongside Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

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