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Dismayed Tsitsipas thanks audience support at US Open — Photo: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images
After losing the third set by 7/6 (4) – he had won the previous two by 6/3 and 6/4 – Tsitsipas went to the locker room and took eight minutes to come back. The audience, who didn’t like the delay, received him with a few boos. Then the Greek won by 6/0 and decreed victory. After the match, he insisted on defending himself and said he had not broken any rules.
– Again I say I didn’t do anything bad. I don’t understand these boos. People love the sport and come to see tennis, I have nothing against them. I adore them. But there are people who don’t understand this. They didn’t play tennis at a high level to understand how hard and complicated it is to do what we do. Sometimes we need a short rest. I didn’t break any rules. There’s a rule for this that doesn’t really specify how much time you have to go to the bathroom. If need be, I’ll use it,” Tsitsipas said.
Mannarino, the Greek’s opponent in the game, also spoke out. According to French number #44 in the ATP ranking, the time taken by Tsitsipas is very long, considering that the break is, in theory, to go to the bathroom or change clothes. For him, if it is made to “cool the opponent”, it is an unsportsmanlike attitude.
– Players have been talking about it for a while. For me, the toilet break (interval between sets) means going to the bathroom or even simply changing your clothes…if it’s not for that, don’t leave the court. If it’s used to break the rhythm, then the rules are poorly made. Obviously it helps. If you’ve just lost the set and you’re upset, it helps you breathe a little. Sometimes we are given warnings and deducted points for nonsense, such as when we pass a little over 25 seconds (to serve). I see a little unsportsmanlike leaving the court when things go wrong – Mannarino pointed out.
Murray barely greets Tsitsipas on the net after the match ends — Photo: Robert Deutsch / USA Today
After poking Tsitsipas and saying that it takes less time to go to space than for the Greek to go to the locker room and back, former world number 1 Andy Murray has once again posted on his Twitter an irony directed at the tennis player from Greece. The Brit asked if “anything interesting had happened” and marked the official profile of the US Open.
This time, Tsitsipas didn’t let it go and, in his press conference after the victory over Mannarino, he took the opportunity to respond to Murray’s statements.
– I have a question now. Yesterday I remembered when I rested. Could you prove when Andy Murray faced Djokovic in the final here (2012) before the fifth set how much time he used to rest? Can you look it up and tell me next time? – questioned the number 3 of the ATP.