Stefanos Tsitsipas did not have an easy run at the US Open 2021, as he struggled in all three rounds before crashing out of the tournament. World no 3 was in the spotlight during the tournament for all the wrong reasons. He had to face the heat from former US Open Champion Andy Murray during his first-round match due to the lengthy toilet break. While he managed to win the second round in four sets, the Greek star's campaign was ended in the third round by Carlos Alcaraz in five sets. Post the loss the Greek expressed his disappointment, but he also took a shot at Alexander Zverev who had earlier made accusations about him taking toilet breaks.
During the media press conference post the Third round loss, Tsitsipas spoke about the audience jeering him as well as the accusation of taking lengthy toilet breaks. During the press conference, he also took an indirect dig at Alexander Zverev. He said, "Look, I'm not pretending that everyone loves me. I don't want to be - my intentions are not to be loved by everyone. Every person can choose their favourite player, pick a side. I felt that way, but I kind of have ignored it. Because people don't know, that's the thing."
He further said, "When people are not really in the sport and don't know what is happening, I mean, all these accusations have been completely false. The one in my match in Cincinnati, which was the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life. Yeah, that was -- I don't know what to say. I mean, that really shows the level of the person that said it."
In the build-up to the US Open, Olympic champion Alexander Zverev had faced Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final of the Cincinnati Masters. During the clash, Alexander Zverev seemingly accused Stefanos Tsitsipas of receiving on-court coaching via his phone and lengthy toilet break. As per media reports in that match, Tsitsipas left the court for a lengthy break with Zverev suggesting that the break was taken to text his coach for advice, which is firmly against ATP rules.
While defending against the accusation of taking lengthy toilet breaks, Tsitsipas said, "I took my toilet break as a normal athlete. Might have taken a bit longer than other athletes. But if there is a rule that says there's a specific amount of time that you are allowed to take, then I would probably try and follow that protocol, that rule, and stay within the guidelines and try and follow it as much as possible.”