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Stefanos Tsitsipas hits back at Alexander Zverev, says his coaching accusation "shows the level of person" he is

Stefanos Tsitsipas is not happy with the accusations made against him by Alexander Zverev
Stefanos Tsitsipas is not happy with the accusations made against him by Alexander Zverev
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST

Stefanos Tsitsipas' US Open campaign came to an end on Friday as he lost his third-round match against teen prodigy Carlos Alcaraz in five sets. The Greek expressed his disappointment at the loss during his post-match presser, but he also took a shot at Alexander Zverev for making supposedly baseless accusations about his toilet breaks.

Stefanos Tsitsipas made headlines after his lengthy toilet breaks in the first round earned the ire of his opponent Andy Murray. While Tsitsipas seemed to have shaken off the negativity by the time he played his second round, he had no answer to Alcaraz's power in the third.

Tsitsipas departed Arthur Ashe Stadium almost immediately after the Spaniard won match point, having been booed by the crowd for taking another toilet break at the end of the third set. When asked in his post-match interview to give his thoughts on the crowd's reception towards him, the 23-year-old admitted that he can't please everyone.

But Tstisipas quickly moved on to the 'accusations' that he has been facing lately. The 23-year-old was alleged by Alexander Zverev to have received illegal coaching during his toilet break at the Cincinnati Masters, which Tsitsipas claimed on Friday was "the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard".

The Greek didn't mention Zverev by name, but he heavily implied that he didn't think much of the German as a person.

"Look, I'm not pretending that everyone loves me. I don't want to be - my intentions are not to be loved by everyone. Every person can choose their favorite player, pick a side," Stefanos Tsitsipas said. "I felt that way, but I kind of have ignored it. Because people don't know, that's the thing."
"When people are not really in the sport and don't know what is happening, I mean, all these accusations have been completely false," he added. "The one in my match in Cincinnati, which was the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life. Yeah, that was -- I don't know what to say. I mean, that really shows the level of the person that said it."

"I took my toilet break as a normal athlete" - Stefanos Tsitsipas on gamesmanship accusations

Stefanos Tsitsipas defended his lengthy toilet breaks during the 2021 US Open
Stefanos Tsitsipas defended his lengthy toilet breaks during the 2021 US Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas also insisted that since the rule book didn't specify any time constraint on toilet breaks, he was well within his rights to take as much time as he needed. The World No. 3 also reiterated that he took a toilet break only to change into a new set of clothes.

"I took my toilet break as a normal athlete. Might have taken a bit longer than other athletes," Stefanos Tsitsipas said. "But if there is a rule that says there's a specific amount of time that you are allowed to take, then I would probably try and follow that protocol, that rule, and stay within the guidelines and try and follow it as much as possible."
"But I feel like, you know, people, they don't understand," he added. "They are here for the show. They want to watch tennis. They're very impatient, especially the new generation. They just want to get it done quick. For me the only thing I did was change from wet clothes to dry clothes. Apparently it's a huge issue."

Stefanos Tsitsipas then claimed that there were other instances of protocol not being followed too, like players taking extra time between points on their serve. The Greek asserted that, unlike toilet breaks, there was actually a time cap specified in the rules on the time that players are allowed to take between serves.

"When no one discusses other things such as players taking more time than they're allowed to take," Tsitsipas said. "That has been an issue for me in the past playing against these players, getting cold, not feeling my game, having to wait more than 30, 35 seconds in between serves that I had -- in one of my matches here I had to wait very long time between first and second serve."

Tsitsipas added that he was surprised fans had an ax to grind against him for his toilet breaks, and not for the excessive time players take between their serves.

"Then you have, yeah, these players that everyone knows they're taking so much time but no one says anything," he went on. "I don't know why everyone suddenly is against me, especially when other players don't follow rules and don't stick within 25 seconds between play."

Edited by Musab Abid

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