Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni has hit out at Stefanos Tsitsipas’ behaviour at the US Open, suggesting greats like his nephew and Roger Federer would not act in a similar manner.
Tsitsipas, the tournament’s third seed, was heavily criticized by Andy Murray after their first round match which the Greek won in five sets.
Tsitsipas riled up Murray by taking two lengthy bathroom breaks, while the Greek took another lengthy break in his second round win over Adrian Mannarino.
Tennis rules allow a “reasonable” toilet break without setting a specific guideline, but some have suggested that Tsitsipas’s conduct was not within the spirit of the game.
Via a column for El Pais newspaper, Toni Nadal said Tsitsipas should stop his antics.
“I think that no follower of our sport can imagine Roger Federer or Rafael, I don’t see why not say it, looking for extra-sporting shortcuts to achieve victory,” Toni Nadal wrote.
“The way he (Tsitsipas) acted was not fair. Rafa or Federer would never do that. Stricter rules should be implemented for the bathroom breaks.
“Tsitsipas is undoubtedly a brilliant player and as such we expect him to win without the need for any ruse that he can profit from.
“Obviously you don’t need them. A great champion, and he is on the way to achieve it, not only because of his victories but because of how he achieves them.”
Tsitsipas himself said he couldn’t see why fans boo him and rivals complain.
“I didn’t break any rules,” Tsitsipas said in a US Open press conference. “There is rule for that which really doesn’t specify the time you have to spend in the bathroom. It’s important to take it if you have to.
“For me it’s important to take that break. For someone else probably not. And everyone has his own time. I try and be as quick as I can. Sometimes I just need a bit more time. That’s all.”
Tsitsipas exited the US Open with a third round defeat to Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.
READ | Coach Patrick Mouratoglou slams Stefanos Tsitsipas critics: ‘He is everything but a cheater’
Picture: Toni Nadal – Roland Garros/Twitter