“Have to Use the Bathroom”: Reilly Opelka Sides With Stefanos Tsitsipas Over US Open 2021 Toilet-Break Row

Published 08/31/2021, 11:30 PM EDT
Aug 14, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Reilly Opelka of the United States shakes hands after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the semi finals of the National Bank Open at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports


The talk of the hour at the US Open 2021 is whether there should be a time limit on bathroom breaks between sets or not. It all began with Stefanos Tsitsipas, who took a 10-minute-long bathroom break against Andy Murray, infuriating the Scot. Now, American servebot Reilly Opelka has provided his take on the debate.

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According to Opelka, the hot and humid conditions in New York lead to excessive perspiration. As a result, there is the need to change complete attire once during the break. He also explained that it takes around five to six minutes for the same.

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Conversely, Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev, Milos Raonic, and Dominic Thiem believe that there should be a time limit. It is because such long breaks are enough to decompress the tempo of the opponent waiting.

Reilly Opelka explains why toilet breaks are important in the US Open

Undeniably, the conditions have been brutal inside Flushing Meadows; and therefore, it is essential to stay hydrated. However, in a long match, a fresh pair of everything becomes a norm.

“We’re drinking, we’re hydrating a lot, we have to use the bathroom,” Opelka said. “To change my socks, shoes, my inserts in my shoes, shorts, shirt, everything, the whole nine yards, hat, it takes five, six minutes.”

Aug 14, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Reilly Opelka of the United States plays a shot against Stefanos Tsiitsipas of Greece in the semi finals of the National Bank Open at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, the 24-year-old American attempted to summarize the requirement for extended breaks. Opelka also explained the shoe trouble at the US Open 2021.

“In this heat. It’s physical, our sport is. My shoes are dripping, they’re leaking sweat,” he concluded.

For now, the rule is in favor of the players in need of a change-up. Let’s see if the players coming ahead can change that in the coming days.

Who will Opelka play next at the US Open 2021?

Notably, the American took out Soonwoo Kwon in the opening round in straight sets, 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4. Now, in the second round, Opelka will take on young Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti.

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2021 Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after retiring injured from their fourth round match REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

For those who forgot, Musetti took two sets from Novak Djokovic at the French Open this year. Hence, the American must bring his best to deny the Italian an entry in the third round.

All in all, the discussion around toilet breaks will only grow over the two weeks in New York. It is to see whether the ATP will respond to it or not.

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What are your thoughts on the same?

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Purav Joshi

1120 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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