Stefanos Tsitsipas Indirectly Blames Rain Delays for His Loss Against Novak Djokovic at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/18/2021, 9:00 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 15, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his quarter final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Stefanos Tsitsipas has had a bittersweet clay-court season so far. He won the Monte Carlo Masters and nearly beat Rafael Nadal at Barcelona Open and Novak Djokovic at Italian Open 2021. Against Djokovic, Tsitsipas looked favorite but frequent rain delay spoiled his momentum and he lost despite staying in advantageous positions.

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Tsitsipas played Djokovic in the quarterfinals on 14th of May, Friday. He was in blistering form, but rain played a spoilsport and the play was halted when Tsitsipas led 6-4, 2-1. The match was postponed and later played on Saturday morning.

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his second round match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

As the match stretched to the next day, Tsitsipas’ adrenaline and momentum faded. The break proved costly for Tsitsipas as it gave Djokovic a chance to regroup and come back at the Greek.

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“It was hard to deal with it two days in a row, especially going to sleep that night. There’s a lot of adrenaline,” Tsitsipas said.

Stefanos Tsitsipas’ tough end to the match against Novak Djokovic at Italian Open 2021

Despite leading most of the match, Tsitsipas was broken on the important points of the second set and Djokovic leveled the match. Later, Tsitsipas saw himself 3-1 up and even served for the match. Yet, Djokovic came back from 5-4 down to win 7-5 in the last set. The second and third set collapse might have not occurred if the match had concluded on Friday itself.

Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his quarter-final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

But the rain is in no one’s hand and Tsitsipas also acknowledged it. The situation changed and maybe Tsitsipas was slow in reacting to it than Djokovic.

“It would probably have been different playing in the rain. It doesn’t matter, the situation was the way it was, you can’t change it.”

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Tsitsipas was also up against a resolute Djokovic. The Serbian despite on the back foot, had nerves of steel to navigate tough moments. Djokovic played Tsitsipas on Friday and Saturday, later played Lorenzo Sonego in the semifinals on Saturday itself. That was a three-setter again.

Despite playing four hours of tennis in one and a half days, Djokovic played a three-setter final against Nadal and never showed signs of fatigue or stiffness. The World No.1 was certainly prepared for a marathon week at the Italian Open.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1097 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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