Stefanos Tsitsipas is officially the biggest fan in the world. But on Friday he got to a point where his nation could not stand to see him support anything. And his first-round exit in the U.S. Open was due, at least in part, to his mammoth breaks in between victories in the first two rounds.
Tsitsipas, 19, was almost certainly destined to leave the major with a disappointing net score. But with his resume that looks far better than David Ferrer’s in 2009 and Andy Murray’s in 2011, there’s no question where the distinction will come down to.
The youngest player in the U.S. Open field started his 2018 U.S. Open campaign with a 7-6, 7-6, 6-2 win over Denis Kudla on Wednesday. It was the start of a run for the Greek youngster that would see him close out his run with a 6-1, 7-6, 7-6 victory over Pablo Carreno Busta that included 39 hours in the stand.
Just when he appeared to be the highlight of the start of what should have been a pretty solid run, the issues began.
Tsitsipas took a medical timeout to get treated for a cut on his ankle and required another one to treat a tight back. He then took an hour to serve a double-fault while the six or seven fans in the stands did their best to fill the empty seats.
Tsitsipas has a decent reputation as a “superclubbing” fan, but many did not give him the time of day when it was discovered he had to use a bathroom during his 6-0, 3-0 lead in the opening set.
Tsitsipas took a break for his urine sample, received about a minute in the treatment room and had a protein shake waiting for him at the players’ box.
Tsitsipas was the fifth player in the day’s draw to require help from the shuttle services to get between court and locker room. Before Tsitsipas, Carreno Busta, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Joao Sousa required on-court treatment in the first round.
More to come from the U.S. Open.