Stefanos Tsitsipas - Indian Wells 2024

Stefanos Tsitsipas claims extended Masters 1000 events ‘hurt the sport’

Stefanos Tsitsipas has given his verdict on 10-day Masters 1000 tournaments, with the Greek suggesting that they have contributed to recent injuries of top players.

Tsitsipas has continued his impressive clay court season, moving into the Italian Open fourth round after beating Cameron Norrie 6-2 7-6(1).

After his victory, the world No.8 was asked about his verdict on extend ATP Masters 1000 events, with the main draws of both Madrid and Rome now taking place over 10 days instead of just a week.

The Italian Open has seen some major withdrawals this year, including two of the top three ranked players in Jannik Sinner (hip injury) and Carlos Alcaraz (right arm injury).

And Tsitsipas has implied that these injuries are related to the new scheduling, It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players.

“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.”

The Monte Carlo Masters winner added, “I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

Rome and Madrid are not the only Masters 1000 tournaments to be extended, with seven of the nine events set to take place over two weeks in 2025.

Tsitsipas has only won Masters 1000 tournament in his career at the Monte Carlo Masters (three times), with that event not yet committing to the new 10-day format.

And it appears that the 25-year-old will be hoping that stays the same, “It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.”

He continued, “It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.

“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

Tsitsipas will look to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open for a fifth time later today, when he takes on ninth seed Alex de Minaur.

Inside the baseline…

It is a tricky debate really, as it could be argued that longer events should provide players with more rest and help players avoid injuries. However, with the back-to-back nature of Madrid and Rome that could cause issues for players both physically and mentally due to the relentless nature of the tour. It has to be said that the scheduling in general for the Italian Open has not been great, with there only being two WTA singles matches taking place today compared to eight ATP.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.