Stefanos Tsitsipas after Paris Masters retirement: 'It hurts, but I had to do it'

Tennis - World no. 3 played only six games against Alexei Popyrin in the Paris Masters second round

by Jovica Ilic
Stefanos Tsitsipas after Paris Masters retirement: 'It hurts, but I had to do it'

World no. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas had a massive chance to become a Major champion in June, opening two sets to love advantage against Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros before falling in a five-setter. The Greek has been the leader of the pack with 55 ATP wins in 2021, but he is yet to reach an ATP final after Paris, winning 16 of the last 26 matches and losing form a bit after tight losses in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Tsitsipas fell to Frances Tiafoe last week in Vienna and will not have a chance to improve his results at this week's Paris Masters after retiring in the second round to Alexei Popyrin.

Stefanos Tsitsipas retired against Alexei Popyrin in Paris due to shoulder injury.

The Aussie led 4-2 and served when world no.

3 decided to call it a match, struggling with an ongoing right shoulder injury bothering him for years and not wanting to risk anything ahead of the ATP Finals. Tsitsipas could not do anything on the return in Popyrin's opening three service games and got broken at 2-3 before retiring for the second time in a career after Zhuhai 2019, which he forgot.

Stefanos will compete at the ATP Finals in Turin for the third time, stunning the entire field in 2019 to claim the title on his debut at the premium ATP event and failing to pass the group stage last November. The Greek will take time off the court ahead of his trip to Italy, hoping to heal the shoulder and get ready for the season's last event.

"I have not retired once in my life, and it was something I had to do today. I'm trying to be cautious for the next tournament, which is the most important one for me. I have had an issue there for quite a while now. It has gotten bigger in the past couple of weeks, so I'm trying to protect my body.

I felt the pain playing in the match, and I did not want it to get worse. I know how to treat it, but playing every day and going out on the court practicing does not make it better. It's not easy to stop, especially at the important tournament that I wanted to win.

It hurts a lot not to play at the level that I'm expected to. I'm going for the best treatment and advice, as I would do anything to recover and play at 100% again," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Paris Masters Alexei Popyrin