Former US Open champion Andy Roddick said that Alexander Zverev’s cheating accusations against Stefanos Tsitsipas need to be explained.
Zverev came up against Tsitsipas at the ATP 1000 Cincinnati Masters semi-final last week. After losing the first set, the Greek asked for a bathroom break and took eight minutes to return.
In the meantime, Zverev accused the World No 3 of being coached illegally by his mobile phone to communicate with his father during the break.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 21, 2021
“He took his bag with his phone and everything in it,” Zverev was heard on camera complaining to the chair umpire.
“He’s in the bathroom, (the line-umpire) isn’t going to escort him into the toilet.
“This was the same thing in Paris and is going to be the same thing every other tournament he’s playing.”
Zverev, who went onto win the match in three sets and later the title as well, was allegedly not asked to explain the incident later.
Roddick was not too pleased about it however.
“I think that one thing that’s important to talk about, and potentially controversial, is we have to have the same metrics,” the former World No 1 said in a Tennis Channel segment.
“We talk about Naomi Osaka a lot, off the court, what she is dealing with. We go after Nick Kyrgios all the time. How we are not asking Zverev about his accusations yesterday in the interview afterwards is a miss.”
Curiously, while Zverev was complaining to the umpire, the camera panned onto Tstsipas’ father Apostolos, who was using his phone at the time.
I agree that it is/was suspicious behavior by Stef. I also think it warrants a follow up. When you accuse someone of cheating, you should have to speak on it when the dust has settled
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) August 22, 2021
Tsitsipas defends himself
The Greek however, went on to explain his decision to take a bathroom break.
“I have already said it. Nothing crazy. It’s not astrophysics. I’m heading towards the locker room to go change my T-shirt,” he said after the match.
“I don’t think it would be very nice if I change shorts on the court in front of everybody. I prefer to do that in the locker room, including socks and shoes.
“I’m a person that sweats a bit more than others. I think it’s acceptable. Some people were teasing me and making fun of this, but it’s just how it works for me.
“People have to understand. I’m not going to stop doing it, because it makes me feel better when I step out on the court to begin the new set.”