‘Nobody knew why I was sitting there,’ US Open Stefanos Tsitsipas tells what really happened after chair-use boos

CLEVELAND — Get used to it, CoCo. That’s what he’s being told after giving a sloppy display of tennis after taking some time in the men’s third round of the U.S. Open in New…

‘Nobody knew why I was sitting there,’ US Open Stefanos Tsitsipas tells what really happened after chair-use boos

CLEVELAND — Get used to it, CoCo.

That’s what he’s being told after giving a sloppy display of tennis after taking some time in the men’s third round of the U.S. Open in New York on Sunday night.

Two days after being booed for a similar, long break between matches at the Grand Slam, 19-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Croatian Borna Coric 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 on Ashe Stadium to advance to the third round of a major for the first time.

But the two-time junior Wimbledon champion did it without fully engaged in the match because he wanted to use the courtside toilet on his way to the locker room.

Speaking after the match, the hard-working Tsitsipas, who at 19 is ranked 37th in the world and has the distinction of being the youngest man to defeat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015, was hit with another round of boos.

He had returned to his chair after playing the first game of the third set and taken almost a full minute before slipping on the dried grass and falling to the ground.

The real boos arrived when he sat on his chair in the chair on the court for a second time.

Tsitsipas was called for a first-serve violation and referee Brian Earley was seen on the video board checking to see if the ref had called him for violating the rule.

Tsitsipas, who won the junior Wimbledon singles title in 2015, said he told Earley that he got the last seat in the chair due to some mix-up between the tournament officials.

“Well, the chair umpire took me to the chair to see, and I said I was sitting in the chair by a mistake, but it did not make any difference,” Tsitsipas said after the match. “Now I have this fine. I don’t know, my whole family has to pay it. That’s because I was sitting next to another family, so there was an incidental thing. They had the last seat in the chair and that made the difference for me.”

Earley has his own rules and sanctions in place for players and officials. At the latest tournaments, when the score is 1-2 in the final set, it is allowed for officials to use a chair for some minor repairs during breaks to assess issues while the players are watching. They’re only allowed to use the chair if there is no better alternative to open the court.

While in the chair, Tsitsipas used the facilities on the first-service line to have a two-minute break.

“I use that as a timeout,” he said after the match. “That’s, like, great to be able to use that, or have time to have a shower.”

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