Former American tennis player Andy Roddick expressed his critical views on Stefanos Tsitsipas' decision to withdraw from the Turin tournament. Tsitsipas faced a defeat against Jannik Sinner in the first round and subsequently handed over the match to Holger Rune in the early stages, leading to his departure from the competition.
Prior to his withdrawal, Tsitsipas had underscored the significance of the Turin tournament, stating, "I think it's probably a bigger deal than the Slam, honestly. It has a lot of prestige and it's very valuable if you're able to win it." Roddick, now serving as an analyst, found fault with Tsitsipas' statement.
"I know he said something funny this week – that the Final Masters is more important than the Grand Slam. I don't agree at all, I don't even think he believes what he's saying. If I were him, I would focus on next season, especially if there are more injuries.
You can even say to yourself, 'Look, if I can't play, somebody else, who I'm going to see throughout the year, can try their luck,'" Roddick remarked. Roddick's perspective suggests a disconnect between Tsitsipas' words and actions, implying that the Greek player's priorities might not align with his verbalized sentiments.
The former tennis star advised Tsitsipas to concentrate on the upcoming season, particularly in the face of potential injuries. Roddick suggested a pragmatic approach, encouraging Tsitsipas to acknowledge the competitive landscape and allow others to seize opportunities when circumstances prevent his participation.
In Tsitsipas' absence, Hubert Hurkacz stepped into the Green group, set to face Novak Djokovic on Thursday. This change in lineup highlights the dynamic nature of tennis tournaments, where unexpected developments can reshape the competitive landscape.
Stefanos Tsitsipas has not responded to Roddick's statements, indicating he may not be aware of them. Despite the criticism, Roddick's message appears fundamentally well-intentioned, emphasizing a pragmatic approach for Tsitsipas to navigate potential challenges in the upcoming season, especially in the context of injuries.