Tsitsipas says his grandmother died just before French final vs. Djokovic

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reacts as he plays Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Sunday, June 13, 2021 in Paris. (Michel Euler / AP)

PARIS (AP) -- French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas said Monday his grandmother died just before he played the final at Roland Garros against Novak Djokovic.

Tsitsipas posted on social media that his "very beloved grandmother lost her battle with life" five minutes before he entered the court Sunday for his first Grand Slam title match.

He thanked her for raising his father and called her a "wise woman whose faith in life, and willingness to give and provide can't be compared to any other human being that I have ever met."

Tsitsipas continued: "It's important to have more people like her in this world. Because people like her make you come alive. They make you dream."

The 22-year-old from Greece lost to Djokovic 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

Tsitsipas had been scheduled to play singles and doubles at a grass-court event in Halle, Germany, this week, but the tournament announced Monday he had withdrawn because of "personal reasons."

The next Grand Slam tournament, Wimbledon, begins June 28.

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