Stefanos Tsitsipas became known as one of the U.S. Open’s sinners this time around. During a back-and-forth match with Andy Murray, he took an almost eight-minute toilet break, and Murray didn’t hold back in criticizing Tsitsipas afterwards.
Stoppages caused by medical timeouts and restroom breaks may be subject to tighter ATP rules in the near future.
As reported in Greek City Times, according to an ATP source, “There will be a change to the rules for bathroom breaks and on-court medical timeouts as well, I hope that before the next season begins in January, we will have a stricter rule when it comes to toilet breaks and medical timeouts.”
The source added, “It’s been an issue for a long time but we are taking quite a serious approach now to try and change it.”
What do the rules say?
A player may leave the court for a reasonable amount of time for a restroom break, a change of wardrobe break, or both, but not for any other purpose.
“Any toilet breaks taken after a warm-up has started is considered one of the authorised breaks. In all cases, the nearest assigned bathroom must be used. The player is expected to have needed attire available on court.
“Additional breaks will be authorised but will be penalised in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule if the player is not ready to play within the allowed time. Any player abuse of this rule will be subject to a penalty in accordance with the Unsportsmanlike Conduct section of the Code of Conduct.”
Tsitsipas’ behaviour at Flushing Meadows was “unacceptable,” according to Alexander Zverev, who objected to Tsitsipas leaving the court during their Cincinnati semi-final last month.
Tsitsipas, on the other hand, had support from world number one Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic said, “I’ve got to stand for Stefanos Tsitsipas, I don’t think he’s doing anything wrong. I support him.
“The rule is not clear. Of course, you can argue it’s all relative, everyone sees it differently.
“This was a hot topic last couple of weeks. I think he didn’t deserve that much attacks that he was getting in the media from everyone.”