In one of the most highly anticipated matches of the US Open Tennis this year, World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Andy Murray in a five-set epic.
The 2012 US Open champion had led by two sets to one, but Tsitsipas showed why he has won the most matches in 2021 as he came back to win the match.
With this win, the World No.3 avoided going out of the first hurdle for the second consecutive Grand Slam, after losing to Francis Tiafoe in the first round of Wimbledon. However, the story was more about what happened off the court than what happened on it.
“Tsitsipas is a cheat” claims Murray
After losing the match in five sets, the former World No.1 was far from finished. Firstly, Murray said that he no longer respects Tsitsipas, after the Greek left the court for an eight-minute toilet break. Even though it is within the rules to leave the court for an emergency, Murray knows that Tstisipas tried to take time off just to unsettle him.
Tstisipas took three bathroom breaks in the US Open clash. One was at the start of the third set. The second one came in the buildup to the fourth set. The third bathroom break came in the fifth set.
The second break was the one that has got into Murray’s head, considering the three-time grand slam champion had all the momentum going into that set.
After that break, Murray was no longer the same player as Tsitsipas took advantage. The next day, Murray took to Twitter and had a jibe on Tsitsipas following his actions during the match. There are reports that Murray was calling Tsitsipas a ‘cheat’ during the match after he had taken the bathroom break.
“If Stefanos [Tsitsipas] had any issues, he could have at least told me about it. However, he chose not to. The bathroom break was nonsense” expressed Murray.
Is Tsitsipas becoming the new McEnroe?
We all know how big of a bad boy John McEnroe was during his playing days. The American used to throw numerous tantrums on the court.
Moreover, he gained a lot of popularity due to his phrase ‘You Cannot Be Serious’ which he expressed to the chair umpire at Wimbledon. Is Tsitsipas following the same wavelength?
The answer is in the balance. However, there are many cases to show that he does have a bad reputation among fellow ATP players. We saw Alexander Zverev, Nick Krygios and Milos Raonic join Murray in throwing jibes at the World No.3. Raonic posted Murray’s comments as part of his Instagram story. Nick Krygios shared Andy Murray’s tweet on his Twitter account. After his first-round win, Zverev said that Tsitsipas takes long bathroom breaks all the time.
“He did the same against me in Cincinnati, and it was ridiculous. Now, he has done the same here. I think players are taking note of that” said Zverev.
Tsitsipas launched a defence to his actions during the match. He said that he has followed all the guidelines of a tennis match and doesn’t feel that he has broken any tennis rules.
As per the ATP rules, a player can take permission to go for a toilet break. However, Murray was more bothered about the timing of the bathroom break considering it was a momentum-swinger that decided the match.