‘He’s not the only one doing it’ – Slam champion defends Stefanos Tsitsipas
The criticism aimed at Stefanos Tsitsipas over his use of bathroom breaks at the US Open has been “unfair”, according to a top ATP doubles player.
Nicolas Mahut – a winner of five major doubles titles – said Tsitsipas is “not the only one” who takes lengthy bathroom breaks during matches.
After losing to the Greek in a five-set first round US Open contest, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray described Tsitsipas’ behaviour as “nonsense”.
The world number three left the court for around eight minutes before the deciding set against Murray, and took a similar length break in his second round win over Adrian Mannarino.
“Obviously this [time Tsitsipas takes] is too much. But I don’t think he’s doing it to embarrass the opponent. It makes him feel good. He’s a player who sweats a lot, that’s a fact,” the Frenchman told L’Equipe.
“Maybe the break taken by [Novak] Djokovic against him in the Roland Garros final must have played out, I don’t know. I really understand Murray’s frustration after losing in five sets as he returns to a very good level. A break like that cools you down and it’s hard to leave.
“I understand the inconvenience caused to the players when there is a break. Are the breaks too long? Yes. Could Tsitsipas make it shorter? Yes. Does it break the rhythm? Yes. Now I find the criticisms that fall on him unfair. Because he’s not the only one doing it. The regulation is not good.”
Tsitsipas fell in five sets to Carlos Alcaraz in the third round in New York – during which he took a shorter break of around three minutes before the fourth set.
Former doubles world number one Mahut also reached a career-high ranking of 37 in singles.
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