Stefanos Tsitsipas and His Long History of Controversial Toilet Breaks

Published 08/30/2021, 11:36 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 22: Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece walks onto court in his quarter final match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain during day nine of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


Greece’s best tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas has earned quite a reputation for his long bathroom breaks. Although they do not void any rule, his opponents often tend to get furious at him. The Greek, however, does not mind them at all.

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Most recently, Tsitsipas got some harsh comments from Andy Murray after their US Open 2021 opening round match. In essence, he took a 10 minutes bathroom break before the final set, leaving the Scot unsettled. Consequently, Murray lost and called out Tsitsipas on his behavior.

“Just do something about it. Speak about it all the time, and nothing ever gets done. Same things keep happening,” Murray said in the post-match press conference.

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Notably, only weeks before this incident, Alexander Zverev had called out on Tsitsipas’ extended breaks. The German even went further and labeled the bathroom breaks as a medium for illegal on-court coaching.

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“He took his bag with his phone and everything in it,” Zverev said to the chair umpire. “This was the same thing in Paris and is going to be the same thing every other tournament he’s playing.”

Opponents’ reactions to Stefanos Tsitsipas’ bathroom breaks

At the Miami Open 2018, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas had gotten into a verbal fight. Indeed, the cause for it was an extended long bathroom break from the Greek.

Though things have changed between the two, Tsitsipas taking off the court has become a common encounter. Naturally, it did not go well with many other opponents, too.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 11: Daniil Medvedev of Russia shakes hands at the net with Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece after their singles match during Day Two of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena on November 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

At the Hamburg Open 2021 QFs, Tsitsipas had played a similar skit against Filip Krajinovic. Although he lost that match, his opponent disapproved of his act.

“We all saw that. He [Tsitsipas] went to the toilet [for] 10 minutes [between the second and third sets]. I was having an overhead, and he was talking, which is not nice at all. I hope that he will apologise one day,” he said.

Conversely, when Ugo Humbert was asked what he thought of Tsitsipas’ break, he gave a straightforward response. It was after their Paris Masters 2020 match.

“When he [Tsitsipas] went to the toilets, I was astonished. [I] just never saw that, even on television. But that was OK; it relaxed me. I could stop and drink. It wasn’t a problem,” Humbert answered.

Moreover, in Cincinnati 2021, his opponent Felix Auger-Aliassime quietly waited for his opponent for over 10 minutes. Indeed, in such a time, the other player is at the risk of losing all the match tension.

Tsitsipas defends his bathroom breaks between tennis sets

After the US Open 2021 R1 loss, Murray even said that he lost respect for Tsitsipas. In response, the Greek professional provided a response.

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Andy Murray of Great Britain after a 5th set miss to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

“I don’t know how my opponent feels when I’m out there playing the match. It’s not really my priority. As far as I’m playing by the rules and sticking to what the ATP says is fair, then the rest is fine,” he said.

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All in all, it is entirely legal for Tsitsipas to do it until the rules update. And if that suits his game, then it does. Which side are you on in this?

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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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