After a fiery first round, Stefanos Tsitsipas returned to the courts of the US Open taking on Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
It seemed as if the Greek third seed had the game in the bag early on, taking out the first two sets 6-3, 6-4, but the Frenchman came clawing back in the third set.
Mannarino caught up to Tsitsipas, passing him with 3-2. He came close to closing out the set, however Tsitsipas eventually fired back taking them to a tie break.
The 23-year-old could only manage to hit out four points, but conceded the set to Mannarino who hit out his much needed seven points.
Tsitsipas seemed determined to wrap up his second round match quicker than his first, appearing back on court with a fire in his belly for the fourth set.
The New York crowd however was not too welcoming, as the young tennis star received a wave of ‘boos’ after returning for the fourth set after another eight minute bathroom break.
The young Greek left no room for error, wiping out a clean 6-0 match with ease.
Overall Tsitsipas stunned with 27 aces compared to Mannarino’s six across the four sets and has closed out 50 wins on the 2021 ATP Tour, making him the player with the most wins this year.
When asked about his break during his on court interview, Tsitsipas just pointed to wanting to change into a fresh kit.
“I went to go get changed. It definitely helped,” he said.
Tsitsipas will face Carlos Alcaraz on Saturday.
It’s been quite the controversial start to Tsitsipas’ US Open campaign, receiving words of criticism and encouragement from across the tennis world.
This wasn’t the first time his bathroom breaks have raised eyebrows from players and spectators alike.
Earlier this week the Greek third seed came under fire by his first opponent, British tennis legend Andy Murray, for taking a lengthy bathroom break after the fourth set.
Murray could be heard getting frustrated on the court during the 23-year-old’s breaks, claiming that they came during times he had momentum.
“It’s just disappointing, because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match,” he said in a post match interview.
“I think he’s a brilliant player. I think he’s great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff at all, and I lost respect for him.”
Aussie tennis great Todd Woodbridge also thought Tsitsipas’ time spent off the court was unjustifiable, however, he took aim at the governing rules.
“I don’t think there’s any way to justify what he’s done. He’s played within the rules, but the rules need to be changed,” Woodbridge told Wide World of Sports.
“It’s fascinating that this has been highlighted by Tsitsipas, because this is not new. It’s something that has been blatantly overused on the WTA Tour for years.”
Tsitsipas’ former coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, who now coaches Serena Williams has come out in support of Tsitsipas, saying he is “everything but a cheater”.
“I can’t hear stuff like that. There was people saying stupid things about him texting his father. His phone was at the hotel,” he told Eurosport regarding the rumours that Tsitsipas had been texting his father during the breaks.
Tsitsipas seemed unbothered by the cheating claims, saying that Murray could approach him to clear things up.
“If there’s something that he has to tell me, we should speak, the two of us, to kind of understand what went wrong. I don’t think I broke any rules,” Tsitsipas said in his first round post match interview.
“As far as I know you’re allowed to have two toilet breaks to go change your clothes in a five-setter. I’ve never broken any rules, so I see no reason that that’s a problem anyways.”