Stefanos Tsitsipas claims his back injury was "so painful" that it was making it really hard for him to even get out of bed in the morning. Tsitsipas, ranked at No 6 in the world, played just one full match in Turin before withdrawing from the ATP Finals.
After losing to Jannik Sinner in his Turin opener, Tsitsipas told reporters he was fine and came out on the court to play his next match against Holger Rune. But just three games into the Rune match, Tsitsipas retired, citing a back injury.
The Turin crowd was extremely frustrated with Tsitsipas, loudly booing the Greek off the court. Afterward, Tsitsipas tried to defend himself by saying he would not take to the court if he didn't feel he could finish the match but that the pain was just too much.
Tsitsipas: Really painful, I felt very strong pain for one or two weeks
“The injury was painful, really painful, because I wasn’t able to finish the last tournament of the year. So it had a big impact on my body.
In the days following the ATP Finals, I found it hard to wake up and get out of bed. In fact, the pain I felt for one or two weeks was very strong. It’s getting better, I’m getting better. I’m doing lots of things every day to reduce the pain I have as much as possible and as quickly as possible to get back to normal.
It will take a little time. I’m not at 100 percent yet," Tsitsipas said, via Tennis Majors. If everything goes as planned, Tsitsipas will kick off his 2024 season at the United Cup. For the second straight year, Greece will be led by Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari.
At the inaugural United Cup, Greece was beaten by Italy in the semifinal. It remains to be seen how will Tsitsipas look when he returns to action at the United Cup.