"You get penalized and fined" - Stefanos Tsitsipas blames 'frustrating' ATP rule for participation in Indian Wells despite injury
World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas recently claimed that a rule set by the ATP was the main reason behind his participation in the 2023 BNP Paribas Open despite not being fully fit to play.
Tsitsipas had said before the start of the tournament that he did not expect to have a good run in Indian Wells because he had not fully recovered from the shoulder injury that had ruled him out of the Mexican Open the previous week. True to word, he ended up losing 7-6(0), 4-6, 7-6(5) to Jordan Thompson in his opener.
Speaking to the Tennis Channel's Prakash Amritraj after his 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Cristian Garin in the third round of the Miami Open, Tsitsipas touched on the circumstances of his Indian Wells participation.
The 24-year-old was asked to explain his reasoning behind competing in Indian Wells, in response to which he cited a rule set by the ATP. Tsitsipas claimed that according to the rule, if a player did not compete at a Masters 1000 event, the ATP would take away their best Masters performance from the previous year and no points could be added to it.
"There is a rule in place in ATP that states that if you don’t play any Masters 1000, there are certain penalties such as, they take away your best Masters 1000 performance of last year and you can’t add points to that, which is pretty bad if you think about it," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.
"I couldn't pull out, I had to play. Also, you get penalized and fined on top of that. It’s frustrating to have something like this on top of your injury and having to think about something like this too," he added.
Tsitsipas further claimed that the fans in Indian Wells were another reason why he opted to play there, but then went back to the aforementioned ATP rule. The Greek believes that the men's tennis body should reconsider such rules and come up with something more logical in the future.
"So, there were a number of reasons why I decided to play, including the fans in Indian Wells which I really love, and the energy there is spectacular when you step out on the court," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.
"But let's put that on the side, ATP definitely has to reconsider those rules and sit down with the players and come up with something a little more logical. Obviously I don't think they would like players to be playing while being injured and it would definitely also help with the level of tennis that is being played in these big events," he added.
Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Karen Khachanov in Miami Open 2023 fourth round
Stefanos Tsitsipas will next take on 14th seed Karen Khachanov, in the fourth round of the Miami Open. Khachanov booked his place in the Round of 16 with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Jiri Lehecka on Monday.
Tsitsipas and Khachanov will lock horns for the seventh time, with the Greek leading 6-0 in the head-to-head. The most recent meeting between the two came this January, when they squared off in the semifinals of the Australian Open. Tsitsipas won that encounter 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 to reach his second Grand Slam final, where he lost to Novak Djokovic once again.