Stefanos Tsitsipas crashed out of the Hamburg European Open quarterfinals on Friday, losing to Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. Tsitsipas took the first set convincingly, before a drastic fall in his level allowed Krajinovic to rally for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 win.
The match was, however, marred by a fair bit of controversy. Tsitsipas was given multiple time violation and coaching warnings, and at one point even had a first serve taken away as penalty. The Greek also took a 10-minute long bathroom break after the end of the second set, in addition to making audible unsavory comments upon missing some shots.
Following the end of the match, Filip Krajinovic looked far from impressed by Stefanos Tsitsipas' behavior. In his post-match press conference, the Serb complained about Tsitsipas' antics before expressing hope that the 22-year-old would apologize some time in the future.
"During the points, he was just talking, it's not pleasant at all," Krajinovic said. "I hope he will apologize one day for his behavior on court today. I don't know why he acted this way."
Filip Krajinovic further claimed that while he used to consider Stefanos Tsitsipas a fair competitor, he found his 10-minute bathroom break strange. Krajinovic went on to express satisfaction with the way he himself remained focused despite the unexpected behavior from the Greek.
"I always had in mind that Stefanos was a good guy and a player characterized by fair play, but the way he acted today was very strange," the Serb said. "We all saw what he did. He used the bathroom for 10 minutes after losing 6–1 in the second set."
"Luckily I stayed calm and didn't lose my focus," Krajinovic added. "I was able to play my game. I don't want to overdo it either, especially not expecting behavior like this from him."
Stefanos Tsitsipas is second in the race to the ATP Finals, but he is going through a lull right now
Stefanos Tsitsipas had been in red hot form on clay earlier, winning titles in Lyon and Monte Carlo before reaching the final at Roland Garros. However, the 22-year-old has been struggling to produce his best ever since the French Open final defeat against Novak Djokovic.
Tsitsipas was eliminated in the first round at Wimbledon, and then failed to win more than one match in Hamburg. He will now travel to the Tokyo Olympics to represent Greece.
Although his recent dip in form might concern his fans, Stefanos Tsitsipas is still one of the most consistent performers of the 2021 season, The Greek has amassed 4,570 points so far this year, putting him in pole position to become the second player to qualify for the ATP Finals.
Novak Djokovic has already qualified for the year-end championships with his Wimbledon triumph.
Given the slew of withdrawals from the Olympic Games later this month, Stefanos Tsitsipas is also one of the favorites for the gold medal in Tokyo. However, his fans would be hoping that he improves his form and his behavior soon; another showing like the one in Hamburg would spell trouble for the 22-year-old.