Tsitsipas fumes at umpire after early exit at US Open - GulfToday

Tsitsipas fumes at umpire after early exit at US Open

Tsitsipas fumes at umpire after early exit at US Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas waves to the crowd following defeat to Andrey Rublev in their singles first round match of the US Open in New York City on Wednesday. Agence France-Presse

Greek eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas ripped into match umpire Damien Dumusois and many of his colleagues on Tuesday after making a first-round US Open exit, falling to Russia’s Andrey Rublev.

Tsitsipas, an Australian Open semi-finalist who also crashed out in the first round at Wimbledon, cramped in losing 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (9/7), 7-5 after three hours and 54 minutes.

The 21-year-old Greek star, who reached a career-best fifth in the world rankings earlier this month, suffered his fourth consecutive loss this month and said after he felt wronged by the Frenchman officiating the match.

“This chair umpire, he has something against me. I don’t know why,” said Tsitsipas. “I feel like some of them have preferences when they are on the court.”

It wasn’t clear exactly what Tsitsipas meant when he yelled at Dumusois, “You’re all weirdos,” but he clearly wasn’t happy about the idea his vocal father might be coaching him from the stands rather than simply cheering him.

“The chair umpire was very incorrect in what he was telling me during the match,” Tsitsipas said. “I don’t know what this chair umpire has in specific against my team but he’s been complaining and telling me that my team talks all of the time when I’m out on the court playing.

“I believe he’s not right, because I never hear anything of what my team says from the outside.

“My father outside, who usually does the talking, he’s trying to pump me up by saying, ‘Come on,’ raising my confidence but not coaching, trying to boost me up.”

Tsitsipas stopped short of calling it a factor in his loss but said he felt the impact.

“It’s not very pleasant when you have the umpire give you warnings and time violations and coaching violations during a match,” Tsitsipas said. “It can affect your thinking. It can affect your decision-making. And I sometimes believe there is nothing to give there.”

Tsitsipas admitted his loss to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open fourth round, a five-set thriller that took more than five hours, still stings.

“It was difficult,” he said. “It’s in the back of my head somewhere. I still feel it. I still feel the pain of that loss. I’m trying to erase it from my memory and move on.

“I want to be tough mentally and I want to constantly improve, become better. I cannot let things like that get into the way.”

Tsitsipas also regretted how painful his first-round Wimbledon loss to Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano felt at the time.

“I’m not going to react again like in Wimbledon,” he said. “I saw myself in that interview a couple of days later and it didn’t feel right. My reaction was too much.

“There are far worse things in life than losses, and that day felt like someone was in the grave. I don’t know why I got upset so much about that loss.”

Tsitsipas admitted the grind of the season has worn on him mentally.

“I feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over again and my brain can’t really take it anymore,” he said. “I feel like I’m doing the same routines on the court, the same execution, the same strategies and everything. And I feel like my mind is just -- I don’t feel inspired. I play out on the court, and I don’t feel like I’m chasing something.”

What does inspire him is the memory of reaching fifth in the world.

“I was really excited when I saw that number five and my name next to it,” Tsitsipas said. “Then I realized that to stay up there, I have to be very, very consistent during semifinals, finals, winning titles, and I don’t know why that got in my brain a little bit.

“First-round, second-round losses are unacceptable anymore.”

Meanwhile, a sizeable number of top male tennis players, including some big stars, are backing a petition seeking a major prize money boost from Grand Slams and other tournaments in a behind-the-scenes revenue fight at the US Open.

And women’s players might join them in the battle.

Canada’s Vasek Pospisil pulled the cover off the turmoil on Tuesday amid reports that up to 100 players have signed the petition.

“There are a lot of players, a lot. I’ll just leave it at that,” said Pospisil. “We have big names as well.”

Pospisil says only the top 100 ATP Tour players make money because only 14 percent of the sport’s revenues goes back to the players.

And he has talked to WTA player council members, including Sloane Stephens, who have similar goals and seek a united effort for more money from tournaments.

“We all want change. We all want to make our tours better. The more unified we are going in that direction the better,” she said. “I love that he’s so passionate about changing the atmosphere and making our tours better. I think that’s what we need right now.”

The world number 216, at his lowest spot since May 2011, played down the notion players could threaten not to play to force greater profit sharing from ATP and Grand Slam events.

Agence France-Presse

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