“He Learned From That”: Patrick Mouratoglou Reveals How Novak Djokovic Influenced Stefanos Tsitsipas to Take Toilet Breaks

Published 09/06/2021, 10:59 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas during the final REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


One of the biggest stories over the past few weeks has been the toilet break saga of Stefanos Tsitsipas. Beginning in Cincinnati and extending into the US Open 2021, the Greek star has faced a lot of backlash for his decision to take long toilet breaks during matches. Some of the players who spoke out about the same have been Alexander Zverev, Andy Murray, and others. So what exactly makes Tsitsipas take these breaks?

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At the Cincinnati Masters, Tsitsipas was in a battle with the German Alexander Zverev. Though it was a phenomenal match, the quality of tennis was overlooked by a nasty incident. After a shift in momentum towards the Olympic champion, Stefanos decided to change in the toilet, as he self-admittedly sweats a lot. This decision, however, did not go well with the young German. Zverev complained that the 2021 Roland Garros finalist repeatedly does this, and from a tactical point of view. Furthermore, he also argued that Tsitsipas probably receives coaching during the break, and that he takes way too long to return.

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Patrick Mouratoglou says Tsitsipas learned to take breaks from Novak Djokovic

When we talk about breaks, a name that comes to mind is that of Serbian Novak Djokovic. The World No.1 has also been under scrutiny for his breaks during matches, following which he returns with rejuvenated energy. Even in the Roland Garros final against Tsitsipas, Djokovic went off the court when he was almost down and out. After returning, he was able to turn the match on its head and claim the title.

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In a recent interview with Tennis Majors, coach Patrick Mouratoglou spoke about the whole situation regarding Stefanos Tsitsipas. In an excerpt, he denoted the Djokovic influence on his Greek student. “When he lost this final to Djokovic in Roland Garros, he was up two sets to love. Djokovic took a toilet break, came back, and then it was a different match. He learned from that. He didn’t learn that Djokovic broke his rhythm, he found out that Djokovic took time for himself in the locker room and was able to reset, and came back different. So yes, he learned that, he tried it and it happened to work for him,” claimed the experienced coach.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 03: Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece takes a bathroom break during his Men’s Singles third round match against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain on Day Five of the US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The main aim of Mouratoglou was to put an end to the debates regarding the situation. According to the tennis rule books, Tsitsipas has done nothing wrong. Whether or not what he is doing is unethical, is subjective. Regardless, we can only hope that the controversy comes to an end with some structured changes to the rules soon.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

240 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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