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Stefaos Tsitsipas defended his controversial long bathroom breaks after crashing out of the US Open. The world number three has been heavily criticised for the timing and length of his toilet breaks after Andy Murray condemned his actions after their tight first-round match at Flushing Meadows.
Since his win over the former British number one, Tsitsipas has been subjected to jeering and boos with the Flushing Meadows crowd turning on him during his loss to rising star Carlos Alcaraz.
Tsitsipas suffered a five-set defeat to Alcaraz, falling 6-3 4-6 7-6 0-6 7-6 – and the Greek star utilised his unseemly tactics once more to the fury of the crowd.
After losing the third set, Tsitsipas left the court and returned to win the fourth without dropping a game – to the fury of the fans in attendance.
It was another example of the Greek star’s alleged poor sportsmanship, but Tsitsipas believes such labels are unfair.
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“I’m not pretending that everyone loves me,” the 23-year-old said. “My intentions are not to be loved by everyone.
“Every person can choose their favourite player, pick a side. 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.”
Tsitsipas expressed surprise at the negative reaction of the crowd but said he tried to ignore it and ensure his game was unaffected.
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The Greek player, who was the the number three seed, insists he did nothing wrong and suggested that fans nowadays are ‘impatient’.
“I know all of these things have been against me for no reason, I took my toilet break as a normal athlete,” he continued. “Might have taken a bit longer than other athletes.
“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 people, they don’t understand. 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 is change from wet clothes to dry clothes. Apparently it’s a huge issue.”
While Tsitsipas defended his actions after the loss, Alcaraz was ensuring his winning moment did not pass him by.
The Spaniard, hailed as Rafael Nadal’s successor at the pinnacle of Spanish tennis, grasped his chance to star on the big stage with both hands.
“I have not words to explain how I am feeling right now,” the 18-year-old said. “I just don’t know what happened out there in the court.
“I can’t believe that I beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic match. For me it’s a dream come true.”
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