Tsitsipas pain free and ready for Indian Wells

Tennis - ATP 500 - Abierto Mexicano - The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Acapulco, Mexico - February 24, 2022 Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during his quarter final match against Marcos Giron of the U.S. REUTERS/Henry Romero

INDIAN WELLS, March 9 (Reuters) - The pain in Stefanos Tsitsipas's elbow was so bad last year that he considered walking away from tennis altogether but after successful surgery, he said he is now ready to make a run at Indian Wells.

The 23-year-old's doctor was stunned by how quickly he recovered from the operation late last year and the Greek called his semi-final appearance at January's Australian Open one of his greatest accomplishments.

"I went through a period where I didn't enjoy playing tennis anymore because the pain was so intense," he told reporters ahead of the start of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

"I remember being at the Nitto ATP Finals a few days before the surgery and I was thinking of quitting. I didn't think back then that anyone would be able to help me heal and get back to where I wanted.

"It was a very difficult moment that I had to go through. I was in a very bad place."

He is in a much better place now and said his goals for this 2022 are to stay healthy and motivated after he was neither last year.

"I wasn't able to stay motivated because I didn't believe in myself. My body was stopping me from going there. It was very sad to feel helpless. I felt weak and I felt unable to reach new heights," he said.

"So I want to be consistent and feel good about myself this year."

Tsitsipas's aggressive baseline game translates well on the hard courts in the Southern California desert and he said winning the Masters 1000 tournament would be a big step toward his ultimate goals.

"Winning here would give me a massive amount of confidence to win Grand Slam titles," he said.

Editing by Toby Davis

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