The ATP Tour could soon be doing away with long bathroom breaks during matches. According to a report from Reuters, the ATP Tour is planning to have stricter rules when it comes to players leaving the court for a bathroom break. Players can thank Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas for this potential change.
The situation reached a breaking point during the US Open earlier this month when Tsitsipas was accused of taking a lengthy trip to the bathroom by Andy Murray during their match. Murray was agitated after Tsitsipas was absent from the court for an estimated eight minutes. The English tennis player claimed that the disruption altered the outcome of the match.
It became a habit for Tsitsipas. During his next match, Tsitsipas headed to the bathroom for over seven minutes after losing his third set against Adrian Mannarino. Tsitsipas ultimately came back to win the match.
“There will be a change to the rules for bathroom breaks and on-court medical timeouts as well,” an ATP source told Reuters. “I hope that before the next season begins in January, we will have a stricter rule when it comes to toilet breaks and medical timeouts.”
According to Reuters, an ATP spokesperson also revealed that there will be a review of rules involving bathroom breaks in addition to medical timeouts. The WTA said that it is “always open to conversation and evolving rules if changes are necessary.”
Murray is not the only tennis star to take issue with long breaks. Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens, who serves on the WTA players council, believes that extended bathroom breaks are in poor sportsmanship. In addition, Alexander Zverev specifically called Tsitsipas’ lack of etiquette “unacceptable” during a match last month.
Tsitsipas does have at least one supporter in his corner: Novak Djokovic.
“I’ve got to stand for Stefanos Tsitsipas,” Djokovic said at the U.S. Open, according to Retures. “I don’t think he’s doing anything wrong. I support him.