Did Taylor Fritz Bully Stefanos Tsitsipas? Controversial Incident Revisited as They Gear Up for Australian Open Clash

Published 01/20/2024, 10:07 PM EST

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American tennis star, Taylor Fritz, will face off against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the pre-quarterfinal battle in the Australian Open. This will mark the fifth time they will go up against each other. The two share quite a controversial past. The incident in 2022, drew the attention of the tennis world. Let’s uncover the infamous incident between the two that caught the attention of the tennis world.

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The history dates back to the Laver Cup in 2022. Team World, consisting of the likes of Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul, and Frances Tiafoe were accused of mistreating Tsitsipas. But was Fritz directly involved in it?

When Team World mocked Stefanos Tsitsipas

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Team World emerged victorious at the Laver Cup for the first time as Frances Tiafoe defeated Team Europe’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 11th and final encounter. But the match became infamous due to the behavior of some of the Team World players including Fritz.

During the match, Tsitsipas’ opponents in the Team World took jibes at him. It started with Team World alternate Tommy Paul referencing the Greek’s father during changeovers, which Taylor Fritz acknowledged and laughed off. Paul was heard saying, “I’m gonna get in his head with the daddy jokes.” This was about Tsitsipas’ father, who has often been accused of coaching from the stands.

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Frances Tiafoe also took a shot at Tsitsipas and said, “I want all that Greek yogurt.” Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul were found chuckling at this comment. Tiafoe continued his antics in the post-event press conference as well. He said, “You know, I see Stef across the court and I’m, like, I’m licking my lips playing that guy. I want to win. So, yeah, I’m just happy I got over the line. Yeah, like we just like Greek yogurt, so it was good.” A day later, Fritz talked about mental health and announced his partnership with a mental health forum which didn’t go down well with tennis fans.

In a post on X, he noted, “Taking care of my mental health helps me celebrate wins, overcome losses, and always keep moving forward and getting better. That’s why I’m partnering with Better Help to give away a free month of online therapy.”

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Tennis fans criticized Fritz for talking about a serious subject like mental health a day after he was involved in sledging the Greek star. Although Fritz didn’t directly bully Tsitsipas, his laughing around when his teammates were going at it made quite a few headlines and raised more than a few eyebrows.

Although Fritz and Tsitsipas were on the opposite end of the controversy, they found each other’s support while talking about a lingering issue in tennis. They both were against the constant change of balls on the ATP Tour.

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When Tsitsipas and Fritz vented out their frustration

Last year, many players on the ATP Tour complained about the constant change of tennis ball brands week after week at the tournament. It made shot-making difficult as players had to adjust to the change in size and weight of the balls.

Talking about this issue, Fritz said, “Have been dealing with wrist issues since beginning of USO series cause of ball change, we went 3 different balls in 3 weeks.” Meanwhile, Tsitsipas had similar views, saying, “I think the biggest issue this year was the change in balls, and that was an issue that has been discussed among the players. Balls need to stay the same in most tournaments and especially on hard surfaces.”

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Update: The fourth-round match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz turned out to be intense, and Fritz eventually came out on top. With a scoreline of 7-6,5-7,6-3,6-3, Fritz has now moved to the Quarter-final stage of AO, where the world’s no. 1 will be waiting for him.

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Written by:

Vatsal Shah

2,039Articles

One take at a time

Being a die-hard fan of tennis and an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal, tennis has been a part of my life even before I ventured into sports journalism. If I have learned anything from the incredible career of the ?King of Clay?, it is to constantly enhance your skill sets, no matter at what stage you are in your career. This motivated me to complete an Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Management while pursuing my career as a sports writer.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri

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