World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has noted that Stefanos Tsitsipas did nothing against the rules at the US Open but added that he understands Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev's position. After losing a tight first set in the Cincinnati Masters semifinal two weeks ago, Tsitsipas left the court with his bag and didn't return for eight minutes.
Zverev was irate and accused Tsitsipas of leaving the court with his phone so he could text his coach. In the US Open first round, Tsitsipas left the court for seven minutes after the fourth set against Murray and the Briton was absolutely furious with the Greek.
After the match, Murray unloaded on Tsitsipas, saying the Greek knew exactly what he was doing and revealed that he lost his respect for the world No. 3. “I have seen that Tsitsipas said that he did not do anything against the rules and that he does not understand why he is being criticized; he also said that there should be consequences if he breaks the rules.
I agree with him on that. On the other hand, I understand Andy (Murray) and Zverev as well, who had a problem with it," Djokovic said, per Tennis Majors.
Djokovic calls for time limit on toilet breaks
“There should be a limit; as a player, you need to be aware that you are gone for too long and that it affects your opponents.
But if we look at it by the book, Tsitsipas did not break any rules“, Djokovic claimed. “Us in tennis, we definitely need to put a time limit on toilet breaks – whether it’s there, five, six, seven minutes, whatever… A clock needs to be turned on and the countdown begins the moment a player leaves the court.
Then you have to respect it. I do not understand why the rule is so vague – you can stay for two, you can stay for twenty minutes. That rule needs to change. I reiterate – I empathize with Andy because he cooled off, but I can understand Tsitsipas as well saying ‘I do not have a stopwatch, nobody is there to tell me’. That is all I can say”.