His parents won’t be pleased but world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas says he’s happy with his Australian Open preparation despite joking that he may be grounded for his ATP Cup behaviour.
Tsitsipas completed his ATP Cup commitments with an epic three set loss to Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in Brisbane on Tuesday night that was marred by an extraordinary incident in which the Greek young gun hit his dad with a racquet.
The 21-year-old said overall he was content with his game but admitted he had some technical issues to address before the year’s opening grand slam after finishing the inaugural ATP Cup’s round robin stage with a 1-2 record.
However, a more pressing concern may be getting back in the good books with his parents.
After dropping the first set against Kyrgios, the rising star slammed his racquet into the bench and accidentally clipped his father and Greece captain Apostolos Tsitsipas on the forearm.
His unimpressed dad walked away briefly before Tsitsipas’s mother Julia emerged from the crowd to stand behind the bench and give her son a gobful.
It appeared to have little effect with Tsitsipas receiving a point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct early in the second set when he smashed a ball into his unfortunate bench, this time just missing his dad.
That was enough for his father, who relocated behind the court-side bench for the rest of the match as Tsitsipas’ mum returned to give her son another spray.
Tsitsipas smashes his racquet after losing the first set to Kyrgios.
In doing so, he clips his coach, who is also his Dad.
His mum then comes down from the stands to tell him off.
— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) January 7, 2020
“It happened accidentally. I didn’t mean to do it and straight away forgot about it and moved on from there,” Tsitsipas said.
“I wasn’t aiming to do that, so it went out of control, unfortunately.”
Asked if he may be in trouble with his parents, Tsitsipas laughed: “Yeah, maybe I’ll stay in my room for three days, grounded by my father.”
Hopefully Tsitsipas will be let out for his final hit out before arriving at Melbourne Park – the January 14-16 Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament – where the Greek gun hoped to fine tune his game.
Tsitsipas arrived in Brisbane for the inaugural 24-team tournament as one of tennis’ hottest properties after becoming the youngest champion in 18 years of the season-ending ATP Finals last November.
However he left with just one win to his name – a 6-1 6-4 result against Germany’s misfiring world No.7 Alexander Zverev.
Yet Tsitsipas insisted he was on track ahead of the Australian Open.
“I feel good with my game,” he said.
“The only thing that might concern me a little bit is when I in close matches I feel like I’ve lost this competitiveness within me.
“It’s probably a few technical issues that I have to work on and…work on my tactics more.”