Taylor Fritz and a few members of Team World were recently accused of bullying Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Laver Cup. But just a day after that Fritz was seen promoting mental health awareness on his social media, which many fans found ironic.
Team World emerged victorious at the Laver Cup for the first time as Frances Tiafoe defeated Team Europe’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 11th and final encounter on Sunday. Although Tiafoe scored a monumental win, the American and his teammates faced backlash from tennis fans for seemingly bullying Stefanos Tsitsipas on live TV during their match.
Team World alternate Tommy Paul was heard directing sledges towards the Greek’s father, which Taylor Fritz acknowledged and laughed off.
“I’m gonna get in his head with the daddy jokes,” Paul was heard saying.
Frances Tiafoe, meanwhile, made what an allegedly xenophobic comment during their changeover, which Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul found funny and chuckled at.
“I want all that Greek yogurt,” Tiafoe yelled.
Tiafoe continued making similar remarks during Team World’s concluding press conference, as he spoke about his encounter against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“You know, I see Stef across the court and I'm, like, I'm licking my lips playing that guy. I want to win. So, yeah, I'm just happy I got over the line. Yeah, like we just like Greek yogurt, so it was good,” Tiafoe said.
Then a day later, on Monday, Taylor Fritz spoke about mental health and announced his partnership with a mental health forum.
“Taking care of my mental health helps me celebrate wins, overcome losses, and always keep moving forward and getting better. That’s why I’m partnering with Better Help to give away a free month of online therapy,” Fritz wrote in a post on Twitter.
Tennis fans were seemingly stunned by the chain of events, and they took to Twitter to accuse Fritz and Team World of being hypocrites with respect to their actions against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
"Bullying a player yesterday, talking about mental health today. Make it make sense," one fan said.
Another fan mentioned the Association of Tennis Professionals' official page and asked them to look into the apparent disregard displayed by Fritz.
"ATP Tour, please do something about this," the fan pleaded.
Here are some more reactions from fans:
"He stepped up and he did it for the team" - Taylor Fritz on Frances Tiafoe's victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas
During the final press conference of the Laver Cup, Taylor Fritz was asked about Frances Tiafoe's successful runs at this month's Laver Cup and the US Open. Tiafoe defeated Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at New York before eventually bowing out in the semifinals to Carlos Alcaraz.
Fritz claimed that his compatriot always had the game to win important encounters against higher-ranked players.
"Frances has been close to these big runs forever, you know. It's been a long time that Frances has been playing the big guys close, and, you know, losing a lot of close battles," he said.
Speaking about Tiafoe's encounter with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Fritz acknowledged his countryman's efforts to clinch victory for Team World in a clash of close margins. Tiafoe saved four match points in the second set tiebreak against Tsitsipas.
"Today was a joke. You know, he was down multiple match points. Yeah, he stepped up and he did it for the team," he commented.
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