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Alexander Zverev shares frustration over fellow tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas’ long bathroom breaks at US Open

Alexander Zverev shares frustration over fellow tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas' long bathroom breaks at US Open

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NEW YORK — After a comfortable victory against Sam Querrey (6-4 7-5 6-2) in the first round of the US Open on Tuesday, Alexander Zverev took a jab at Stefanos Tsitsipas during the news conference, sharing his own frustrations with Tsitsipas’ long bathroom breaks, saying, “It’s not normal.”

“It’s happening every match. It happened to me in the French Open, to Novak at the finals [of] the French Open. You know, I think in Hamburg against [Filip] Krajinovic he was complaining, against me in Cincinnati was ridiculous, and now here again,” Zverev said. “I think players are catching up on that.”

Zverev said he didn’t believe Tsitsipas, ranked No. 3 in the world, should be taking such consistently long bathroom breaks.

“That’s something that I said it before. I mean, yes, I have been breaking racquets, I go insane sometimes and all that, but one thing I’m very proud of, and I will keep it for the rest of my career, is I win and lose by playing tennis on the tennis court,” Zverev said.

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When asked if he believed that Tsitsipas had a phone in his bag during their match in Cincinnati, Zverev said Tsitsipas was gone for 10-plus minutes. “His dad is texting on the phone. He comes out, and all of a sudden his tactic completely changed. It’s not just me, but everybody saw it. The whole game plan changes.

“I’m like, either it’s a very magical place he goes to or there is communication there. But I also don’t want to disrespect him. He is a great player,” Zverev added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Andy Murray tweeted, “It takes Stefanos Tsitsipas twice as long to go the bathroom as it takes Jeff Bazos to fly into space. Interesting.” Adding to Murray’s tweet, Zverev said earlier in the news conference, “I think Stefanos can play well if he doesn’t go to the moon and back for a toilet break. That will also help,” he said, smiling.

Calling pace of play “an important issue on our sport,” the U.S. Tennis Association said it needs to “continue to review and explore potential adjustments to the rules, whether for bathroom breaks/change of attire or other areas, that can positively impact the pace of play for our fans and ensure the fairness and integrity of the game.”

The ATP men’s tour said reviewing toilet break rules and those governing medical timeouts “has been an area of focus in recent months,” calling it a “work in progress.” The WTA women’s tour noted that it changed its bathroom rule to allow one break instead of two during matches, adding: “As with any rule, the WTA is always open to conversation and evolving rules if changes are necessary.”

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At the end of his news conference Tuesday, Zverev was asked if he would cooperate with the ATP on an independent investigation into the abuse allegations against him by his ex-girlfriend Olya Sharypova. Zverev said there will be more proceedings from his end but didn’t want to comment further.

“To be honest, I have been dealing with it for a long time now, and you guys need to be fair to me, as well, because we are talking about mental health and all that to players, and this is not healthy for me either,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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