Andy Murray came to Stefanos Tsitsipas' defense after Lacoste CEO Thierry Guibert slammed Stefanos Tsitsipas' retirement in Turin as "unfair behavior." On Thursday night, Jannik Sinner defeated Holger Rune to help Djokovic reach the semifinal at the ATP Finals.
Although Djokovic finished his group with a 2-1 record, he still needed Sinner to beat Rune due to a complicated situation that ensued following Tsitsipas' retirement against Rune. On Tuesday, Rune was 2-1 up on Tsitsipas when the Greek retired 15 minutes into their match due to a back injury.
Djokovic serves as Lacoste's global ambassador and the company's CEO applauded Sinner but made it clear he wasn't particularly happy with Tsitsipas. "Hats off to @janniksin for his win tonight. Despite the unfair behaviour of Tsitsipas, he showed to everyone why he is a future champ and an authentic guy," Guibert wrote on X.
Guibert's post quickly drew attention and three-time Grand Slam champion Murray also reacted: "Bizarre post from a CEO of a sports brand. Getting injured is part of sport and isnt ‘unfair behaviour.' "
Murray defends Tsitsipas after Lacoste CEO's criticism
After retiring just 15 minutes into the match against Rune, Tsitsipas was booed off the court by the Turin crowd.
Tsitsipas later issued a statement regarding his retirement, insisting that his intention was to play the full match but the pain was too big and there was just no way he could have played until the end. "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. I felt it at the second game of the match. I actually felt it in the warm-up with my serve.
Warming up on my serve, I felt very irritated and lots of pain hitting me on my back. I kind of knew at that time that I might not be able to go all the way," Tsitsipas said after retiring against Rune.