Dominic Thiem puts up shirtless picture on Instagram in response to Stefanos Tsitsipas' post, jokes that he's "just taking a toilet break"

<a href='' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer'>Stefanos Tsitsipas</a> (L) and Dominic Thiem
Stefanos Tsitsipas (L) and Dominic Thiem
Adam Warren

Stefanos Tsitsipas has recently been in the news for his controversial toilet breaks, with the matter coming to a head during the first two rounds of the 2021 US Open. Dominic Thiem has now come up with a hilarious post on Instagram where he can be seen posing shirtless in the woods, with the caption "Just taking a toilet break."

The fact that Dominic Thiem even tagged Stefanos Tsitsipas in the post suggests there was no malice or sarcasm involved. Instead, the Austrian merely seemed to be pulling Tsitsipas' leg, much to the amusement of the fans of both players.

The shirtless pose in the woods is in reference to Stefanos Tsitsipas' post from earlier on Thursday, where the Greek was seen in a similar environment.

Tsitsipas wrote a long caption below that post, where he explained that he wanted to take some "time for himself". The 23-year-old has had a tough time on tour lately, and many of his fans were happy to see him stepping away from the spotlight for a bit.

But now in the wake of Dominic Thiem's jibe, the matter has taken on a considerably less serious hue. Some in the tennis community are also speculating that these two posts on the same day are part of a joint marketing campaign. Thiem and Tsitsipas are both sponsored by Adidas and Red Bull, so one of those two brands could possibly have orchestrated the stunt.

Nevertheless, the fans are lapping it all up, with several of them posting the two sets of pictures on Twitter accompanied by laughing emojis. What made the whole thing even funnier was Stefanos Tsitsipas' comment in response to Dominic Thiem's post, which read: "Did you take your phone with you?"

Stefanos Tsitsipas' comment on Dominic Thiem's post
Stefanos Tsitsipas' comment on Dominic Thiem's post

That was in reference to Alexander Zverev's accusation that Stefanos Tsitsipas takes his phone with him to the toilet and receives illegal coaching from his father during the breaks. Tsitsipas vehemently denied the charge in a subsequent press conference, and even questioned Zverev's integrity for leveling such an allegation.

The German hasn't been able to provide any evidence to back up his cheating insinuation against Tsitsipas, so it is unlikely that the issue will remain a talking point in the future.

Dominic Thiem had defended Stefanos Tsitsipas' use of toilet breaks, while also calling for a time limit on them

Dominic Thiem (L) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (R) at the 2020 ATP Finals
Dominic Thiem (L) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (R) at the 2020 ATP Finals

Earlier this week, Dominic Thiem had justified players taking toilet breaks during matches, especially in warm conditions. According to Thiem, it is necessary to change your clothes at least twice in five-set matches since the presence of sweat makes it difficult to move freely.

"My point of view is that, especially with the conditions of New York, you need to go out in a five-setter at least twice because you just need to change your pants," the Austrian had said.

At the same time, Dominic Thiem had also called for the officials to impose a time limit on such breaks in order to limit the disruption to the opponent's rhythm. The 28-year-old agrees with Andy Murray's contention that a long break in the middle of a match causes the body to cool down and get stiff, thus making it difficult to play at the optimal level immediately upon resumption.

"I heard Andy's press conference and he was right," Thiem had said. "It just cools down your body and you are getting stiff and it is not easy at all."

Stefanos Tsitsipas, on his part, has repeatedly insisted that taking toilet breaks is "important" for him so that he can change into dry clothes. The Greek also believes he isn't breaking any rules in the process, since the ATP rulebook doesn't specify any time limit for a toilet break.

"It is important," Tsitsipas said last week. "First of all, you carry less weight on you with all the sweat. You feel rejuvenated, you feel fresh, and you don't have all the sweat bothering you and coming in your face, on your fingers, everywhere all over your body. It makes you feel better."

At the moment there is no consensus among the tennis community on whether lengthy toilet breaks are acceptable or not. However, many fans have expressed happiness at the fact that both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem are looking at the lighter side of the issue with their Instagram posts.

Edited by Musab Abid

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