World No.3 tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas has had it tough in the 2021 U.S Open despite his winning streak.
The green tennis player’s long bathroom breaks continue to raise more questions than answers.
In his first-round opening match aging former world number one British player Andy Murray, he came under fire.
Tsitsipas took two long bathroom breaks and agitated Murray to the core because he feels that he cheated.
Murray Angry Over Long Bathroom Breaks
Murray stunned with his tactics in the first two sets which he beat Tsitsipas. His moves are reminiscent of his best matches on the court before the injury happened four years ago.
However, just before the end of their thriller five-set match, the Greek took at least 10 minutes bathroom break.
According to Murray, Tsitsipas reached out to his dad and when he came out, his game was all changed.
“He’s gone for 10-plus minutes; his dad is texting on the phone. He comes out, and all of a sudden his tactic completely changed. It’s not just me but everybody saw it,” Sporting News quotes Murray.
“The whole game plan changes. Either it’s a very magical place he goes to or there is communication there.”
The Greek tennis star triumphed over Murray winning 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the end.
But Murray maintains that the ‘bathroom breaks’ influenced the Greek’s game.
“It’s just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match.”
For Murray, it was a hard one to swallow given his sterling performance in the 4 hours 49 minutes duel. He performed excellently his hip injury notwithstanding.
Tsitsipas Second Day Bathroom Break
And even before the story died with Murray, Tsitsipas was back at it again on Tuesday when he played Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Yet again, he took a lengthy bathroom break and when he came out, he thrashed the world No.22 player 6-0.
Speaking on it all, German star tennis player Alexander Zverev said he saw it coming after the Cincinnati Open.
Zverev maintains he raised the issue then over the Greek’s long bathroom breaks in the middle of the game.
He alleged that Tsitsipas took his phone with him and engaged his coach during the 2021 Cincinnati Open in one of his two bathroom breaks.
After this, his performance on the court shores up.
“I did see that he went off again yesterday, which I found – yeah, I think you guys can’t imagine how we as players we find that, and then he wins the next set 6-0, because I think Mannarino’s back got a little bit stiff or something,” Tennis365 Zverev.
What Is The Fuss About Tsitsipas Bathroom Break Anyway?
In Murray own words, he says, that the body cools down and the adrenaline almost dies down when the bathroom break takes too long.
What Exactly Is A Tennis Bathroom Break? What’s The Limit?
According to the 2021 Official Grand Slam Rule Book a player is not allowed to be coached during a match.
Thus, any player who takes a break to contact their coach is in contravention of the laid down rules.
The rules stipulate that “A player may request permission to leave the court for a reasonable time for a toilet break, a change of attire break, or both, but for no other reason.”
Further, that “Toilet breaks should be taken on a set break and change of attire breaks must be taken on a set break. In singles events a player is entitled to one (1) break during a best of three (3) set match and two (2) breaks during a best of five (5) set match.”
“Any toilet break taken after a warm-up has started is considered one of the authorised breaks. In all cases, the nearest assigned bathroom must be used. The player is expected to have needed attire available on court.”
What’s The Way Forward With Tsitsipas Bathroom Break Controversy?
Murray, all fired up was first to ask the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to make necessary adjustments.
Going by what is stipulated in the 2021 Official Grand Slam Rule Book, those who contravene this must be held to account.
It clearly states that, “Any player abuse of this rule will be subject to penalty in accordance with the Unsportsmanlike Conduct section of the Code of Conduct.”
Even with all the jeering by the crowd, Tsitsipas insists he broke no rule.