‘What Australia means to me’: Tsitsipas will ‘build a school’ in Victoria if he wins Australian Open
Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas says he will help fund the building of a school in Victoria and support the education of children if he wins the Australian Open.
Winning his first major – if it happens at Melbourne Park this January – is much closer to reality after the world No.4, the highest seed left in the men’s singles, defeated Jiri Lehecka in the quarter-finals on Tuesday night.
But it was the Greek star’s post-match interview on court that captivated the Australian public, Tsitsipas not only vowing to support the Victorian education system but publicly inviting Australian actress Margot Robbie to sit courtside with his entourage.
Tsitsipas, who has been practising his Australian slang on this trip to Melbourne, appeared as fair dinkum as they come as he explained what educating kids meant to him.
“When it comes to charity … I’d love one day, hopefully winning the Aussie Open and giving a portion of the prizemoney to build a school in Victoria, which is the state of education. I’d like to do that,” said the tournament’s third seed.
In reply, his interviewer, Channel Nine’s Jim Courier said: “Wow, that’s amazing”.
Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning through to the semi-finals.Credit:AP
Tsitsipas is into the Australian Open semis for a fourth time and his popularity among local fans is only set to increase after his personal pledge.
“Let’s put tennis on the side because there are much more important things in life, I believe,” he said.
“I saw that Victoria is the state of education. There’s an idea for me over there, that came to my mind.
“I’ve seen how difficult it is for a lot of kids around the world to go to school and get a proper education, which is important, because you know not all kids grow up privileged
“I would really like to give an opportunity to kids here in this state to build a school and provide them with free education, and anything else.
“And to put it into words – that’s what Australia means to me.”
The Australian Open singles champions receive cheques of close to $3 million.
Pressed further by Courier about his admiration of all things Australian, Tsitsipas said: “Australia is such a great country. I like a lot of Aussie things, you know. One of my favourite actresses comes from Australia, Margot Robbie.
“It would be nice to see her over there one day,” he said, referring to his player entourage area.
Courier wanted to ensure that Tsitsipas was extending an invitation to the actress, and the tennis star’s reply was clear: “Absolutely”.
Players have sometimes donated prizemoney to charitable causes after winning tournaments.
In 2020 as bushfires spread across south-eastern Australia, Germany’s Alexander Zverev pledged to donate money for each match he won in Melbourne.
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