Holger Rune defends Stefanos Tsitsipas after brutal criticism directed at Greek

Tsitsipas received lots of criticism for retiring just 15 minutes into his ATP Finals match versus Rune.

by Dzevad Mesic
Holger Rune defends Stefanos Tsitsipas after brutal criticism directed at Greek
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Holger Rune has come to Stefanos Tsitsipas' defense after heavy criticism the Greek has faced following his retirement against the Dane. On Tuesday, Rune and Tsitsipas' ATP Finals match in Turin finished after just 15 minutes.

With Rune 2-1 up early in the first set, Tsitsipas received a visit from the physio during the changeover. Not a single point more was played as Tsitsipas ended up retiring after just three games and 15 minutes due to a back injury.

The Turin crowd heavily booed Tsitsipas and they were clearly not happy that they saw just 15 minutes of action for their paid tickets. Also, some thought that the Greek not withdrawing before the match was just wrong, because if he had done so, Hubert Hurkacz would have stepped up as a healthy replacement.

"Shouldn't Tsitsipas have canceled the match against Holger and given the place to the reserve Hurkacz? Playing 3 games in front of 14,000 spectators... Audience booed - makes more sense now with reflection... 3 games has previously been the limit to receive the prize money," one person wrote on X in Danish.

Rune responded to that opinion by saying in Danish: "We are not in Stefano's body. So we cannot comment on what he should have done. We are here to fight and win. No one here in the top 8 is a quitter and we will try to the end.

If we only thought rationally, we wouldn't be where we are today."

Rune defends Tsitsipas

After retiring against Rune and also withdrawing from his last group stage match, Tsitsipas tried to defend himself by explaining that his intention was indeed to play out the entire match but the pain was uncontrollable. "The pain was very big.

I've gone through pain during matches in the past, and I endured pain, but this was clearly too much to handle. I had to take the difficult decision to do what I did," Tsitsipas said in a statement. Tsitsipas' 2023 season is now officially over and he will turn his focus on recovering from the injury and being ready for 2024.

Holger Rune Stefanos Tsitsipas Atp Finals