Tennis

Uninspired Stefanos Tsitsipas calls umpire a 'weirdo'

Stefanos Tsitsipas called an umpire a "weirdo" after being told to hurry back onto court during his first-round loss to Andrey Rublev at the US Open yesterday morning (Singapore time), adding that he was struggling for inspiration.

After his Russian opponent broke to lead 4-3 in the final set, Tsitsipas, who had already received a coaching warning and time violation, did not take kindly to being told to speed things up by French chair umpire Damien Dumusois.

"You are the worst. For some reason, you have something against me, I don't know what. Because you're French probably. And you're all weirdos. You're all weirdos," the 21-year-old Greek shouted.

"Give me warning, I don't care. Give me warning, give me warning, yeah, give me warning, I don't care. Give me warning!"

The eighth seed, who battled leg cramps during the final set, got what he asked for and, given it was his second time-violation of the match, it came with a point penalty.

The 4-6, 7-6(7/5), 6-7(7/9), 5-7 loss meant Tsitsipas has now fallen at the first hurdle in three successive tournaments.

"I feel like I'm doing the same thing over and over again, and my brain can't really take it any more," said Tsitsipas.

"I feel like I'm doing the same routines on the court, the same execution, the same - I mean, 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."

Tsitsipas reached the Australian Open semi-finals in January, but seemed to have lost his way since falling in the first round at Wimbledon last month.

"I don't think he's necessarily uninspired, it's more that he's a little confused," said former world No. 2 and Eurosport analyst Alex Corretja. - REUTERS

Tennis