Tsitsipas discussed the comments (Picture: Getty Images)After a couple of weeks of thought, Stefanos Tsitsipas has backtracked on his claim that Roger Federer receives special treatment – although he does believe other top stars are regularly given favourable decisions from chair umpires.
The Greek raised eyebrows when first making the accusation on court in a doubles match – against legendary duo Bob and Mike Bryan – which arose from what he perceived to be a late challenge from the brothers, and he referenced Federer as one of the beneficiaries of such favourable treatment.
It didn’t appear to just be in the heat of the moment, though. Tsitsipas followed up his claim during a Twitter Q & A ahead of Federer’s Miami Open final against big-serving American John Isner.
‘I think players that have been doing really well over the years, players that are generally much respected in the tennis world, have privileges when it comes to certain rules and umpire decisions,’ he tweeted.
Does Federer get special treatment? (Picture: TPN/Getty Images)‘I felt this [a] couple of times when playing these guys and I think it’s a bit unfair.’
However, he has now removed Federer’s name from that criticism, although he does still maintain that umpires favour certain big players.
‘After thinking about it too much in my vacation, the thing that I said… I didn’t really mean it in that vain way,’ he said at the Monte Carlo Masters. ‘I meant it in a completely different way.
‘I guess I actually said it during a match, I don’t know if the microphone caught that, in a doubles match. It was completely wrong from my side I have to admit, it wasn’t even close to what I wanted to say, I don’t know why I said it this way. It came out wrong.
Here’s a video of the moment.
Tsitsipas complaining that the Bryans get privileges just like Federer… Interesting.
(📹 @TennisTV) @MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/4XDjC0sM8l
— Joe (@ProdigyRepV3) March 30, 2019
‘I did have situations in the past against players that like to take a lot of time between points and I don’t want to mention any names but it was very disturbing and it felt wrong because the referees and umpires wouldn’t say anything.
‘If I would do the same thing, I would get a time violation or a warning and that’s what I meant by that. I didn’t specify, just because I said Roger’s name – whatever he does he doesn’t really take too much time, he’s always had the momentum of the game. I was wrong in that.’
Federer was initially quizzed on Tsitsipas’ comments in the aftermath of his Miami win, but he suggested the Athenian’s complaints arose from umpires’ familiarity with bigger names on the ATP Tour.
Tsitsipas seemed to accept that explanation.
‘Exactly, they have more experience with the umpires and the umpires know them much better,’ the 20-year-old Greek smiled.
‘They know how to speak to them, approach them so I guess I’m still a youngster and still new in the tour. So in my case it will be a little bit different I guess, I’m not sure.’