Written by By Staff Writer
Tsitsipas was also booed during a Davis Cup quarter-final match, when he faced Djokovic in September. Picture: PA
Stefanos Tsitsipas was booed by the crowd at the US Open after taking a 15-minute bathroom break in the third set of his match against Pablo Carreno Busta on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Greek watched for the rest of the set — which he won, then lost to the Spaniard 5-7, 6-4, 4-6 — after having his backband undone, having a medical timeout and jumping into the stands with his towel in his hand.
Tsitsipas is the biggest name to enter the US Open boys’ event since Andy Murray in 2007, after he captured the Junior World Championship in Virginia Beach in August.
He is also the youngest-ever winner of the Wimbledon junior singles title, beating Frenchman Maxime Hamou earlier this year.
“I think I was just trying to deal with the situation, and kind of manage the nerves,” Tsitsipas told reporters after his US Open exit.
“And also I think there is a competition out there, and there are a lot of things going through your mind. And sometimes, you know, being human, some things happen.”
Another boisterous Greek
Afterwards, Tsitsipas blamed his “sometimes not so very well-spoken” English on a language barrier.
This was not the first time Tsitsipas has faced boos from the crowd, after an incident in the first round of the US Open quarter-finals against Novak Djokovic earlier this month.
Tennis fans chanted “Tsitsipas sucks” in the 25-year-old’s direction after the opponent took another lengthy toilet break during the second set.
“I think I should stop answering these questions,” Tsitsipas had said at the time.
“[I’m] very happy with my performance this week. I’m very happy for my week at the US Open and I’m looking forward to the next tournaments.
“I always know the biggest venue in tennis is Madison Square Garden, so next year I’ll definitely look forward to it.”
Not out of the woods
Despite the controversy surrounding his US Open exit, Tsitsipas said he was not out of the woods yet.
He said he was “guarded, but confident” for the two weeks ahead of the Shanghai Masters, where he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Serbian 12th seed Filip Krajinovic.
Tsitsipas said his return from an Achilles injury, in which he had surgery in May, has helped him improve his physical condition and self-belief.
“I’m feeling stronger than when I came back from my injury,” he said.
“You know, it’s something that you can only work on. You can’t improve a muscle by doing yoga. It’s a muscle, you know, that you have to work on.
“It’s just a matter of getting stronger. Getting that quality, that strength you need to play on the court. And I think a lot of things that I’ve been working on in the last few months are helping me here.
“I feel like I can play at the top level in a lot of events and a lot of different countries. And that’s going to help me tremendously.”