Stefanos Tsitsipas Cincinnati Open 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas blames poor scheduling for ATP Finals injury

Stefanos Tsitsipas said trying to play too many tournaments was to blame after he withdrew from the ATP Finals with a back injury.

Tsitsipas was poor in his opening match in Turin against Jannik Sinner, so poor that Greg Rusedski said he believed the Greek was heading for some serious trouble next year.

He took to the court again for his second match, against Holger Rune, but lasted just three games before retiring.

Tsitsipas had denied recent rumours that he was carrying an injury, but he has now revealed it emerged during the Shanghai Masters.

However, he does not believe it was the result of any one action, but instead the cumulative wear and tear of pushing himself to compete in as many tournaments as he can.

“I do believe it’s because of the maybe lack of rest, lack of getting my body to rest sometimes and properly prepare for big events,” he said.

“I am hunting a lot. I’m trying to get as much as possible regarding points, regarding the rankings. I really push myself to the limits.

“I do believe it’s maybe a combination of lack of rest and not that good of a preparation. Overload, as well. Could be that, as well.

“It definitely hurts me a lot because this is the tournament that means the most to me, including the Grand Slams. I’m not able to compete the way I want to compete.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas admits it’s a ‘shame’ for Hubert Hurkacz

Tsitsipas’ spot in the tournament will now go to first alternative Hubert Hurkacz, although he has been criticised in some quarters for not giving the Pole a chance earlier given he knew he was carrying an injury.

Because he started the match against Rune, Hurkacz can now only play one match – in the final round robin games against Novak Djokovic.

“I’m really gutted that I wasn’t able to finish the match,” Tsitsipas said. “It’s a shame also not to give that spot to someone else to at least try and do something with it.

“My doctors and the countless visits that I had (to see them) in the last few days suggested that I play and gave me the green light to go and try it for myself. Unfortunately, I felt terrible on the court.’

“I did what I could do in the best possible way to be ready and fit for this match, but it didn’t work out for me.”

“I’ve gone through pain during matches in the past, and I endured pain, but this was clearly too much to handle. I had to take the difficult decision to do what I did.

“I actually felt it in the warm-up with my serve. Warming up on my serve, I felt very irritated and lots of pain hitting me on my back. I kind of knew at that time that I might not be able to go all the way.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.