World No. 24 Reilly Opelka has come to the defence of third-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas left the court for seven minutes after the fourth set of his first round match and Andy Murray was absolutely irate that the Greek took such a lengthy bathroom break.
When Tsitsipas returned, he broke Murray in the opening game of the fifth set and ended up claiming a 2-6 7-6 (7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 win.
At the Cincinnati Masters, Tsitsipas did the same against Alexander Zverev and the German accused him of leaving the court with his phone and texting his coach.
“You know, I don’t know Tsitsipas. I don’t know his situation. I doubt he’s getting coached. I highly doubt it. Today, you know, I couldn’t even take my bag in to change. I’m like, ‘Guys, my clothes and shoes are in there’. You can come stand in here with me if you want. I don’t like being coached on court, that stance. I don’t think he would have on-court coaching at all, but I strictly go to change because it’s humid,” Opelka said, per Tennis Panorama News.
“If people don’t understand that, then clearly they have never spent a day in the life of a professional athlete or come close to it.”
Murray lost his respect for Tsitsipas
“But, yeah, it can’t be coincidence that it’s happening at those moments. I don’t believe it was causing him any issue at all. The match went on for another two and a bit hours after that or something. He was fine, moving great I thought,” Murray said in his post-match press conference.
“Yeah, it’s just disappointing because I thought it influenced the outcome of the match. I’m not saying I necessarily win that match, for sure, but it had influence on what was happening after those two breaks.
“I rate him a lot. I think he is a brilliant player. I think he is great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff all, and I lost respect for him.”