Tsitsipas backtracks on Federer comments
Stefanos Tsitsipas has admitted that he was wrong to claim that umpires give big players such as Roger Federer special treatment.
Tsitsipas made the comments during his and Wesley Koolhof’s Miami Open doubles finals loss to the Bryan Brothers, when he asked umpire Gianluca Moscarella why he was giving them “privileges just like you do with Roger” after a late challenge from the veteran pair.
However, he has now admitted fault and says his age might be a factor in his relationship with umpires, compared to older players.
“After thinking about it too much in my vacation, the thing that I said… I didn’t really mean it in that way," the 20-year-old told reporters 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.
“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.
“They have more experience with the umpires and the umpires know them much better. 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."
Tsitsipas beat two-time defending champion Federer in the Australian Open round of 16 in January but the Swiss claimed revenge in the Dubai final in March.