Watch: Stefanos Tsitsipas destroys advertising board after one game, explains why

Just one game into his Rome opener, Tsitsipas destroyed a racket.

by Dzevad Mesic
Watch: Stefanos Tsitsipas destroys advertising board after one game, explains why
© X

Stefanos Tsitsipas stunningly smashed his racket just a game into his Rome Masters opening match and also let out his frustration on one of the advertising boards placed near the back of the court. 

After a first-round bye, No. 6 seed Tsitsipas kicked off his Rome campaign on Saturday by playing against world No. 41 Jan-Lennard Struff. Right from the gate, 34-year-old Struff - who recently won his first ATP title in Munich - managed to break Tsitsipas. 

Moments after dropping his serve in the very first game of the match, Tsitsipas angrily smashed his racket and one of the advertising boards was gone in the process. 

Players breaking a racket after getting broken is not something uncommon in tennis but Tsitsipas doing that so early in the match after just one game left many baffled. Also, what was stunning to many was how angry Tsitsipas looked when destroying his racket.

In the second game, Tsitsipas had a chance to instantly get the break back but missed out on two break points. However, he was able to get the break back six games later and tie the opener to four games apiece. Although Tsitsipas still lost the first set via a tie-break, he still managed to end victorious after completing a 6-7 (1) 6-4 6-4 win.

After the match, Tsitsipas pretty much said that even he wasn't fully sure about what happened out there but that he was dealing with "negative emotions" that he never previously experienced on the court 

“I can't really process what happened. There was a lot of attention, a lot of emotions, a lot of fighting; it was insane," Tsitsipas said.

“I really don't know what worked and what didn't, I just tried to win the match and the outcome was beyond spectacular. I managed to come back and get over those really difficult moments.”

Tsitsipas: I felt really lost out there

When the first-set tie-break started, Tsitsipas lost the opening five points and he ultimately lost the tie-break with just one point won.  

In the second set, Tsitsipas blew an early break but he managed to get another break in the fifth game. Up 5-3, Tsitsipas missed out on a set point on Struff's serve but he managed to close out the second set on his serve in the following game.

The third set pretty much resembled the second set as Tsitsipas started with an early break - Struff got the break back - but the Greek went up by a break again in the fifth game. Leading 3-2, Tsitsipas was close to blowing a third-set break again but he managed to save three break points and open a 4-2 lead. But when serving for the match in the 10th game, Tsitsipas was clinical as he didn't lose a single point in that game. 

After the match, Tsitsipas opened up on rollercoaster of emotions that he experienced during the match.

"I felt really lost out there and I don't think I've felt this way in a long time. It was really difficult dealing with emotions like this and I don't think I've had a match in my life that had so many negative emotions that overtook me; it was a very tricky and weird situation.

“I've got to improve my mindset entering matches. Today was not a good way to show my mindset at the beginning of the match. I was not zoned in, not concentrating. I need to start matches a bit stronger, find my rhythm. I know I'm good on this surface, so I hope that I can improve and come into the next match feeling stronger.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Is Tsitsipas impacted by the Paula Badosa breakup?

After Tsitsipas and Badosa concluded their Madrid Open campaigns, they sat down for a conversation and decided to end their love relationship. And just a few days before the start of the Rome Open, Badosa announced on social media that she was splitting with Tsitsipas. 

"After careful consideration and many cherished moments together, Stefanos and I have decided to amicably part ways. We have shared a journey filled with love and learning, and it is as friends with immense mutual respect that we now choose to move forward on our own paths," Badosa announced last Sunday.

"We are grateful for the support of our friends, family, and all who have been part of our story. As we transition into this new chapter of our lives, we continue to wish each other nothing but the best in all our endeavors. We kindly ask for privacy during this time, and we thank you for your understanding and respect."

Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas
Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

In Rome, Badosa has already won three matches and she has been through to the round-of-16. On the other side, Tsitsipas struggled heavily with his emotions in his Rome opener and some naturally started wondering whether the breakup with Badosa played a part in that.

In his next match, Tsitsipas plays against Cameron Norrie.

Stefanos Tsitsipas