Mom tells Zverev don't be potty mouth about toilet breaks

German tennis star says he won’t rip Greek rival Tsitsipas anymore, calls for adjustments in ATP rules


AFP September 03, 2021

NEW YORK:

Tokyo Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, listening to his mother, won't rip Stefanos Tsitsipas anymore over extended bathroom breaks. Instead, he can talk about his dominating form at the US Open.

The 24-year-old German fourth seed fired 11 aces in humbling 33rd-ranked Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 in only 74 minutes.

"I've got a Mets game to watch tonight," Zverev joked, the New York baseball team playing home games across the subway line from the National Tennis Center.

"Once the match went the way it went, I did try to play as quick as possible. I did try to not give him time. I did try to keep on pushing. It worked out well for me."

Zverev couldn't resist stepping into the controversial extended toilet trips of Greek third seed Tsitsipas, but never mentioned him by name.

"Look, I mean, sorry, my mom is calling me," he said. "I'm not going to talk bad about anybody anymore, because I've been talked bad about for a very long time and it's not a great feeling. I don't want to do that.

"I think there needs to be some adjustments in some rules by the ATP. But it does get frustrating if you just won a set and then somebody walks off for 10-plus minutes or whatever.

"I don't want to be negative anymore. I don't know what else to add."

Rivals Zverev and Andy Murray ridiculed Tsitsipas's trademark long bathroom breaks, the latest coming in a four-set win over Adrian Mannarino on Wednesday. He left the Frenchman waiting eight minutes, then swept the final set.

"I did see that he went off again," Zverev said. "You guys can't imagine how we as players find that, and then he wins the next set 6-0 because I think Mannarino's back got a little bit stiff.

"In six, seven minutes in professional sports, in a high-intense match, your body does cool down. It's very difficult to come back and play on the same level as you did if you're just sitting down for six, seven, eight, nine or 10-plus minutes."

Zverev has gotten off the court quickly so far this week, a good sign as he seeks his first Grand Slam title.

"It was always a problem of mine in the beginning of my career that I always spent a lot of time in the beginning of Grand Slam tournaments," Zverev said. "I'm in the third round now. I'm looking forward to what's ahead."

It's probably going to rely on his powerful serve.

"My serve is probably the most important shot in my game and I'm happy with how it's working," he said. "The matches are not going to get easier and I will need that to be my weapon."

Zverev has found a mindset since rallying from  break down to beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic in an Olympic semi-final, denying the Serbian star a chance for a Golden Slam with four Slam titles and Olympic gold and then following up with a title two weeks ago at Cincinnati.

"The process started at the Olympics for me, and the match against Novak. That kind of started it off, because I was down badly, and I managed to win with great tennis," Zverev said.

"Also, it was very important for me to back it up in Cincinnati, because a lot of the times players that for the first time in their career win something really big like a Grand Slam title or a gold medal, they do tend to go downhill a little bit.

"So it was important for me to go to Cincinnati, to a place where I have never won a match before this year, and have a great tournament."

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