Stefanos Tsitsipas’ bathroom breaks have become a major talking point at the US Open this year and the Greek third seed will look to shift the focus on to his tennis when he faces Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in the third round on Friday.
The world number three drew jeers from the New York crowd after a long visit to the men’s room during his 6-3 6-4 6-7(4) 6-0 victory over second-round opponent Adrian Mannarino on Wednesday.
Tsitsipas had infuriated Andy Murray in the previous round by taking another seven minute-plus break, prompting the Scot to say the 23-year-old was longer in the bathroom than it took billionaire Jeff Bezos to reach outer space.
“I haven’t done anything wrong, so I don’t understand,” Tsitsipas said. “The people love the sport, they come to watch tennis. I have nothing against them. I love the fans.
“But some people don’t understand. That’s all… They haven’t played tennis at high level to understand how much effort and how difficult it is to do what we are doing.”
Tsitsipas’ immediate focus will be on avoiding an upset by Alcaraz, who overcame Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 7-6(6) 4-6 6-1 6-4 to become the youngest men’s player in the third round since Donald Young in 2007.
“He’s a young talent that has been doing very well recently. He’s been constantly improving, getting up in the rankings. He’s someone that has a good game for all surfaces,” Tsitsipas said.
“Me personally, I want to play the best of my game against him. I see him as a potential contender in the future for Grand Slam titles and other big events.”
Victoria Azarenka meets Garbine Muguruza while Angelique Kerber faces Sloane Stephens in battles between former Grand Slam champions.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka will be fresh for her meeting with Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez after getting a walkover in the previous round while Simona Halep faces a tricky test against Elena Rybakina.
Daniil Medvedev will face Pablo Andujar of Spain and his Russian compatriot Andrey Rublev meets local favorite Frances Tiafoe.