Cyprus Mail

Tsitsipas says off-court coaching will end unfair violations

usa tennis us open 2021
The Greek star returns to Flushing Meadows after being cast as the villain in 2021 for his lengthy bathroom breaks, which Briton Andy Murray said amounted to cheating

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes new rules allowing coaching from the stands will help stop unfair violations at the U.S. Open where the fourth seed is hoping to collect a maiden major title.

The ATP announced earlier this year that it would trial off-court coaching from July 11 through November’s season-ending ATP Finals in Turin, with the U.S. Open also joining the experiment, with the goal of enhancing fan experience.

“My coach has not been as discreet as other coaches, but it (off-court coaching) has always been happening. I’ve got a lot of coaching violations, which I found unfair, “Tsitsipas told reporters on Friday

“But now that it’s legalised I’m more than happy I won’t have to deal with referees that are so strict and want to kind of ruin the game.”

The Greek said earlier this year he felt unfairly targeted by officials over off-court coaching and was fined for violations at the Australian Open, where he lost in the semi-finals to Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Under the new rules, coaches must sit in designated seats and are allowed to coach only if it does not interrupt play.

Verbal coaching can only occur when the player is at the same end of the court as the coach, while non-verbal coaching — through hand signals — will be permitted at any time.

The ATP announcement got a mixed reaction, with Australia’s Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios saying off-court coaching eliminated the beauty of the sport.

Top-ranked American and Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz called the change a “dumb rule.” Read full story

Tsitspias disagrees.

“Trust me, it (off-court coaching) is happening with almost every single player,” he said.

“The fact that it’s legalised now is going to make tennis a bit more peaceful, make players concentrate more on the game, less on different kinds of nonsense.”

Tsitsipas returns to Flushing Meadows after being cast as the villain in 2021 for his lengthy bathroom breaks, which Briton Andy Murray said amounted to cheating.

After reaching the Cincinnati final, the world number five hopes to end his run of bad luck at the year’s final major, where he has never got past the third round. Read full story

“I didn’t expect to be in the finals in Cincinnati. I just happened to play great tennis, and it showed that I was capable to go deep into that tournament,” he said. “Everyone fights for this one trophy, including myself.”

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