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Melissa Woods

Tsitsipas still dreaming of elusive major

Defiant Stefanos Tsitsipas still believes it's his champion's destiny to win a grand slam. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

While shattered to see another grand slam dream slip away, Stefanos Tsitsipas doesn't feel his Australian Open defeat will haunt him in the same way as his Roland Garros collapse.

Tsitsipas fell to 10-time champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the final at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night but walked away satisfied he'd done everything possible to stop the super Serb.

In his only previous major final, at the French Open in 2021, the Greek world No.4 was traumatised after he gave up a two-set lead to lose to Djokovic.

"Paris was heartbreaking - I was two sets to love up," the 24-year-old told reporters.

"I can't see or feel the same again, because that was a different final from what we had.

"There are definitely things that I can improve ... but I don't think there's any reason for me to be affected by this loss.

"There is nothing that I didn't use in my advantage, there's nothing that I could have extracted more - I did everything possible.

"It is a step forward."

Tsitsipas said he had dreamt about lifting the trophy at Melbourne Park, after also bowing out in the semi-finals at four other grand slams.

"I was dreaming about the trophy, lifting that trophy, I even dreamt it last night in my sleep," he said.

"The desire is really there. I really, really want it badly.

"But just dreaming about it won't make it happen - you've got to act, you've got to do better.

"I felt like there were moments that I was close, but the tiebreak didn't really show that.

"I'll just eliminate it, take the good things, move on."

Tsitsipas has now lost 10 straight matches against Djokovic, who with the victory drew level with Spanish great Rafael Nadal on 22 grand slam titles.

Despite struggling to topple the perennial champion, Tsitsipas said it was a making him a better player.

"Novak is a player that pushes you to your limits but I don't see this as a curse or something annoying," he said.

"This is very good for the sport, to have competitors like him, to have champions like him.

"Getting our asses kicked is for sure a very good lesson every single time.

"He has made me a much better player ... I find it a very important part of my career, to have a player like him that will help me grow better and do bigger things."

As well as missing the Open title, Tsitsipas lost an opportunity to move to the top of the world rankings, with Djokovic taking over from injured Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz as the new No.1.

Tsitsipas said he still felt that goal was within reach.

"It was my opportunity to be a world No.1 but I had a better opponent on the other side of the net," he said.

"He deserves that spot currently ... it doesn't come easily and I've got to work harder to make that happen.

"I don't see any reason to be lowering my expectations or my goals.

"I am born a champion, I can feel it in my blood, it's something that is within me."

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