After falling behind 2-1 in the first three sets Friday at the U.S. Open against 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas encountered boos at Arthur Ashe Stadium when he exited the court for a bathroom break before the start of the fourth set.
Tsitsipas has recently come under fire by other players on the ATP Tour for taking advantage of the vague wording in the 2021 Grand Slam rulebook regarding bathroom breaks and change of attire breaks. The rule does not list a limit for how long the break should last.
Tsitsipas has been accused by other players, including Andy Murray, of using this time to text with his father, Apostolos, who is his coach. After falling to Tsitsipas in a five-set first-round match that included one of these long breaks, Murray said he took issue more with the length of the break, rather than the break itself. In this U.S. Open, Tsitsipas’ breaks have lasted about 7-8 minutes.
His break on Friday afternoon was much shorter than some of his previous ones at the Open. After tournament officials escorted him into the bathroom next to the court, he returned to the court in less than four minutes. This supervision was new; in previous matches, he’d been allowed to walk to the bathroom (or locker-room) on his own.
The break appeared to give him a big lift, though, as he took the fourth set 6-0. But Tsitsipas dropped the fifth set in a dramatic tiebreaker, ending his U.S. Open run.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: U.S. Open: Stefanos Tsitsipas gets more boos for latest bathroom break