MELBOURNE, Australia -- Stefanos Tsitsipas said he was excited about the future and took confidence from his exploits at the Australian Open, despite losing Sunday's final to Novak Djokovic.
The third seed was bidding to be the first Greek player in history to win a Grand Slam, but fell short against the Serbian great 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5) on Rod Laver Arena.
Nevertheless, Tsitsipas won 10 matches in a row to open the season and made only his second major final, a feat that he said made him proud.
"There are definitely things that I can improve and get better at, given the circumstances today. But I don't think there's any reason for me to be affected by today's loss," said the 24-year-old.
"It is a step forward. I'm looking forward to scoring more points during this season, making bigger results, fighting for bigger trophies.
"I very much enjoy the way I play, my attitude on the court, my mental stability, my concentration levels.
"There's still a little bit more to add to the whole structure of my game. I couldn't be more excited to be heading towards that path."
Tsitsipas, who has talked about a new-found maturity this year, will move up to world number three when the new rankings come out on Monday.
While he lost to 10-time Australian champion Djokovic, he showed resolve throughout the tournament when he was tested.
Against Jannik Sinner in round four he kept calm and dug deep to win a brutal five-setter, and quickly regrouped when Karen Khachanov took their semi-final to a fourth set.
But in the Serbian 22-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic he admitted he met his match.
"There's nothing that I could have extracted more for today. I did everything possible," he said.
"Novak is a player that pushes you to your limits. I don't see this as a curse. I don't see this as something annoying.
"This is very good for the sport, to have competitors like him, to have champions like him.
"He's very important for us that want to get to his point one day."
© Agence France-Presse