Pro tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas had an amazing run in this year’s Australian Open, beating one of the best players ever en route to the Grand Slam tournament semifinals. Tsitsipas lost to Rafael Nadal on Thursday to end his winning streak, but no matter what happened on the tennis court, Tsitsipas had even bigger victory on social media.
That’s because after urging fans to subscribe to his YouTube channel, the 20-year-old Greek native has become an even bigger social media star.
After beating Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinals earlier this week, Tsitsipas made the plea in his postmatch interview, asking people to smash that subscribe button.
People have responded. According to YouTube analytics site Social Blade, Tsitsipas had 13,000 subscribers before the Australian Open tournament began in mid-January. As of this writing, he has more than 105,000 (and he didn’t even need help from printer and Nest camera hackers to do it).
On his channel, he vlogs from around the world as the burgeoning star visits Shanghai and survives New York City taxi rides. As he said in his interview on the court, “There was a lot of traveling for me when I started touring and playing tennis. I was watching a lot of creators and people who were creating nice content on YouTube. I found this platform unique. … I love cinematography and filmmaking. There are a lot of positive ways that you can use to your advantage. I get connected with my fans and the people that are interested in me. Guys, if you haven’t subscribed, please subscribe.”
That drew a nice laugh from the crowd, and as interviewer Jim Courier said, he’s a great salesman. Tsitsipas is also a great tennis talent.
The Independent called him “the most exciting young talent in the men’s game … with his flowing hair and energetic style,” and during his Australian Open run, he beat Roger Federer—perhaps the best player in tennis history. His world tennis ranking, wallet, and YouTube reach all have benefited.
Perhaps PewDiePie, the world’s most popular YouTuber, had better watch out. After all, Tsitsipas is only about 82.3 million subscribers behind him.