Stefanos Tsitsipas has been accused of being a 'sore loser' after taking a potshot at the skill level of Andrey Rublev, who knocked him out of the ATP finals this weekend.
Rublev fought his way into the semi-finals of the season ending tournament after powering past Tsitsipas in the final group stage match, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
After claiming the first set in convincing fashion, Tsitsipas eventually ran out of answers for the resurgent Rublev, who will now face World No.4 Casper Ruud.
Tsitsipas was bitterly disappointed to have bowed out of the ATP Finals, telling reporters in his post match press conference that he felt as though he was the better player of the two.
The Greek superstar seemed to then take a shot at the Russian's skills, saying Rublev had 'prevailed with the few tools that he has'.
"He prevailed with the few tools that he has."
Shots fired 😲 pic.twitter.com/zuorMMHI1R
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) November 18, 2022
That comment was picked up on by fans as evidence of sour grapes as the 24-year-old's season was brought to a close.
“It’s a shame. I feel like the better player,” Tsitsipas said during his press conference.
“I felt like I could do more with the ball today. I felt like I could just be much more creative. I don’t even have to say that. I think it’s quite obvious.
“But, yeah, he prevailed with the few tools that he has. He was able to really take advantage of them and win today.”
His comments were met with a fair degree of criticism on social media.
It's a term that's normally hurled as an insult and has really lost all meaning, but the best way to describe Stefanos Tsitsipas is a sore loser.
Can think of so many occasions where he refused to credit his opponent after a defeat just like this. https://t.co/GWKpkAlHhu
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) November 18, 2022
Stefanos Tsitsipas' full answer where he talked about his level of play vs Andrey Rublev. As can be seen clearly, there was no context or provocation for him to belittle Rublev's game, but he went ahead & did that anyway.
"I didn't feel threatened." Maybe you should have, Stef. pic.twitter.com/0aqC8fvJIF
— Musab (@Musab_Abid) November 18, 2022
Don’t worry, Stef. You prevailed in acting like the biggest tool. https://t.co/oFNzT1RIJG
— Allen McDuffee (@AllenMcDuffee) November 18, 2022
“They want their kid to do well, but it’s just not working. The way it’s going about right now, it’s hurting him more than it’s helping."
Former world No. 1 Jim Courier says Stefanos Tsitsipas’ fraught coaching and family dynamic had an impact on his tennis at #NittoATPFinals.
— TENNIS (@Tennis) November 19, 2022
When presented with Tsitsipas' comments in his own press conference, Rublev seemed to brush them off easily - although it took a little bit of explaining from reporters in attendance that what had been said was actually a shot at the Russian.
Rublev simply acknowledged that Tsisipas is, at the time of writing, a higher ranked opponent who he had beaten.
“I mean, I don’t know if I have few tools or not,” he said.
“If we go shot by shot, I think his backhand is better than mine. His forehand is not better than mine. The speed serve is not better than mine. He’s faster.
“Obviously he’s better player because he’s higher ranked and he achieved better results. It’s obvious. There is no doubt.”
Carlos Alcaraz secures World No.1 spot thanks to ATP Finals results
Earlier in the ATP Finals, results ensured emerging Spanish superstar Carlos Alcaraz will finish 2022 on top of the men's world rankings.
A tournament victory for fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal would have seen the veteran reclaim the top rank from his junior countryman, but defeat at the hands of first Taylor Fritz and subsequently Felix Auger-Aliassime left him at the mercy of other results to remain in contention.
Nadal's hopes hinged on a straight-sets loss for Ruud against Fritz - a proposition that was quickly put to bed.
The Norwegian took the first set against Fritz at Pala Alpitour Stadium before running out a 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8-6) winner in two hours 12 minutes to take out the Green Group and progress to the semi-finals for the second successive year.
"Only a couple of points decide a match like this," the world No.4 and nine-time tour-level champion Ruud said.
"Fortunately for me, they went my way at the end ... I am sad for Taylor, but I was so happy to see that last forehand sail long. To book my place in the semi-finals felt great.
"I think my movement has been much better in recent weeks ... You will face tougher moments in periods of your career when you are heavier in the legs, and they aren't working. But here in Turin they are working well."
Alcaraz, 19, who is not competing at the tournament due to injury, will be confirmed as the youngest year-end No.1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
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