Stefanos Tsitsipas burned by rival over new toilet break rule

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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  • Stefanos Tsitsipas
    Greek tennis player
  • Alexander Bublik
    Kazakh tennis player
  • Novak Djokovic
    Novak Djokovic
    Serbian tennis player
Stefanos Tsitsipas' toilet break controversy last year has caused the ATP to update their rules.
Stefanos Tsitsipas has been mocked by rival Alexander Bublik after the ATP introduced new rules governing toilet breaks in play. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

World No.35 Alexander Bublik had the chair umpire cracking a smile after cheekily calling out Stefanos Tsitsipas after the ATP's new toilet break rule was explained.

The umpire's explanation, much to Bublik's amusement, came after several controversial incidents last season in which players were accused of taking unnecessary toilet breaks in an effort to halt an opponent's momentum.

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Tsitsipas was accused of being a repeat offender throughout the US Open and again later in the year.

The world No.4 was called out by Andy Murray for the tactics, which were permitted during grand slams as the ATP allowed players to take two breaks during the game, but not specifying for how long.

Chair umpire Greg Allensworth was explaining the new rule to Bublik and his opponent at the Adelaide International, Australia's Aleksandar Vukic, when the Kazakhstani contender piped up.

"Thanks to Tsitsipas, huh?" he interjected, clearly to the amusement of Allensworth.

"Stefanos, thank you!" he added, with a wink to the camera.

Under the new rules, there are much stricter limits on the amount of time players may use for a bathroom break.

Players will now be given three minutes after entering the bathroom, with an additional two permitted should they wish to change clothes.

Tsitsipas' eight minute long break in a tense fifth set against Murray during last year's US Open put a spotlight on the issue.

Murray said he had ultimately 'lost respect' for Tsitsipas, while his Greek rival insisted he hadn't broken the rules.

Barty's Open rivals hit top gear in Sydney

The main threats to Ash Barty clinching a maiden Australian Open title have all begun to find their groove at the Sydney Tennis Classic.

Barty will be the top seed for the first major of the year which commences on January 17, after the Australian ace began her summer in impressive fashion by winning the Adelaide International last week.

After Barty opted out of playing in Sydney, the world No.1's rivals have been finding their form by advancing to the tournament's quarter finals.

Ons Jabeur downed two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4 6-4 to advance to the last eight.

"I've been working a lot on myself and my mentality," said Jabeur, who will be seeded ninth at Melbourne Park.

"Everybody knows if I decide to do something then I do it and I am going with that mentality from now on."

Ons Jabeur is looking to put a pre-Australian Open bout of Covid-19 behind her. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Ons Jabeur is looking to put a pre-Australian Open bout of Covid-19 behind her. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The Tunisian will meet world No.7 Anett Kontaveit next, with the Estonian showing her class to ease past Romania's Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 6-1.

Spanish world No.3 Garbine Muguruza overcame a second-set fightback from Ekaterina Alexandrova to prevail 6-1 7-6 (7-4) and book a quarter-final spot against 26th-ranked Daria Kasatkina.

The Russian backed up her win over reigning Australian Open Sofia Kenin earlier this week by securing a 6-3 6-4 victory over Belgium's Elise Mertens.

Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic, who contracted COVID-19 in December, faces France's Oceane Dodin later in the day, before Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic meets world No.9 Paula Badosa of Spain.

With AAP

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