Stefanos Tsitsipas, father, coach, Daniil Medvedev, referee, press conference, video
Stefanos Tsitsipas has hit back at his father’s coaching allegations while taking a cheeky jab at Daniil Medvedev after he exploded on the pitch in Friday’s semi-final.
The Russian world number 2 launched into an intense mid-match tirade against chair umpire Jaume Campistol, demanding that he issue a code violation to Tsitsipas for illegal training.
Medvedev finally settled in and returned to his clinical best to win the match and set up a meeting with Rafael Nadal in the men’s singles final.
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But his fiery clash with Campistol and the serious allegations against Tsitsipas dominated talk at the Greek star’s post-match press conference.
When asked how he handled the Medvedev drama, a cheeky Tsitsipas smiled.
“Well, it sure is funny,” he said, laughing.
“I don’t pay attention to stuff. I know players like to do this kind of thing to mentally unsettle you. Maybe a tactic. Its good.”
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Then came a not-so-subtle jab from Tsitsipas: “He’s not the most mature person anyway.”
As for the coaching accusations on the pitch, Tsitsipas was adamant even though his father is shouting advice he pays no heed to.
“I don’t hear anything when I’m playing,” he said.
“It’s impossible. With the crowd being so loud at every point, I mean, you have to have super hearing to be able to hear what your coach is saying.
“I was laughing the other day, because I think in my match with Benoit Paire, I think my coach was about five kilometers on the other side, and somehow I got had a practice violation. I think that was the funniest moment of the Open.
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Tsitsipas went on to say he’s “used to” the extra attention now.
“They have been targeting me for a long time already,” he added.
“I feel like I’ve had a few in the past, and the referees always pay attention to my box, never paying attention to the opponent’s box. I feel like some be a victim for a long time.
“I mean, what can I say? Referees I don’t think they’ll ever understand that I can’t hear anything when I’m playing because I’m trying to come up with solutions and trying to read the game and recreate the game in my head before the point does not begin.
“The last thing I want is someone giving me advice and giving me advice on what to do. I’m not the kind of person who would try to listen when you’re competing, playing. Maybe in practice.
As to whether he spoke to his father to tell him to stop, Tsitsipas said he had already had the discussion.
“I mean, my dad, he’s a person who, when he gets into something when there’s a lot of action, his medicine is talking, and you can’t stop him,” Tsitsipas said.
“It’s something he does from nature. I told him about it. I tried, I spent countless hours trying to figure it out with him, but it’s part of him.
“I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep getting practice violations, even though I’ll never listen to anything he says.
“But it’s okay, they can do it if they want to, if they think it’s good.”
It’s one of the reasons Tsitsipas took to social media last year in an attempt to push for on-pitch coaching to be allowed.
“Just because the coaches do it anyway,” he said.
“Most of them get away with it, and they do it quite smartly, I can tell you that. Not on my dad’s side, but I’ve seen a lot of situations, I’ve seen a lot of circumstances where the coaches would get away with it, and that’s a real thing.
“By letting it be one thing, I think there will be less tension and more release in every aspect of it.”
Turning his attention to Medvedev, Tsitsipas likened the Russian to a ‘marathoner’ but warned that approach may not be sustainable.
“I’m not sure myself if it’s something that can go on for a really long time, having to run that much,” he said.
“Speaking of experiences like other players and champions, Grand Slam champions I’ve seen, it had a huge impact on their bodies.
“But I respect that he’s able to run so much and make it physical at every point. He’s one of the greatest fighters, along with Nadal. I guess he deserved the title.