I don’t think I’ve seen Andy Murray play this well in a long time. Still, Tsitsipas, or Toiletsipas, beats Murray in five sets.
Why do call him Toiletsipas? Well, Tsitsipas‘ habit of going to the toilet at opportune moments in a match is catching some fame and heat. Alexander Zverev called it out the last time they played and he left the court with a bag and his father was then seen texting from the stands (hard to prove that he did text his father from the bathroom, but also difficult to prove otherwise). And yesterday, at the start of the fifth set, Tsitsipas left the court for about seven minutes, which angered Andy Murray.
“It’s not so much leaving the court. It’s the amount of time,” he said. “I spoke to my team before the match about it and said to expect that, prepare for it if things were not going his way. So I was trying to do that.
“But the issue is that you cannot stop the way that that affects you physically. When you’re playing a brutal match like that, you know, stopping for seven, eight minutes, you do cool down. You can prepare for it mentally as much as you like, but it’s the fact that it does affect you physically when you take a break that long, well, multiple times during the match.”
Well, not the actual toilet business as such, but toilet breaks at key moments in the match. They are nothing new and you can’t stop a player from going to the bathroom. They have been happening on the WTA and ATP tour for a long time and there have been discussions about whether there needs to be some limitations or guidelines involved. For women’s tennis we have the additional issue of a player being on her period. But on both sides of the tour, it’s of course hard to understand what is going on with a player. They might have stomach issues or just the biggest bladder known to mankind.
Does Tsitsipas need seven minutes in the bathroom? It will take some rhythm out of the match for sure and Andy is right to criticize it. The question is how do you prevent or put guidelines around it?
Maybe Toiletsipas has a few ideas?