Stefanos Tsitsipas Eliminated from 2021 US Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2021
Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2021. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock (12401563a)

Not even lengthy bathroom breaks could help Stefanos Tsitsipas avoid early elimination from the 2021 US Open. Tsitsipas, who is currently ranked at the No. 3 male player in the world, exited the tournament in the third round after suffering a shocking 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 0-6, 7-6 defeat to 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.

The No.55-ranked Alcaraz took the first set fairly easy, and it was immediately clear that Tsitsipas won’t have an easy job. Still, the Greek managed to bounce back and win the second set before rushing to a 5-2 lead in the third.

This was probably the deciding moment in the match, as Alcaraz managed to save three set points and dug himself out of a deep hole. He forced a tiebreak, which ended in his favor at 7-2.

At this point, Tsitsipas decided to use one of the long bathroom breaks that he became notoriously known for in recent years. Tsitsipas’ habit of using bathroom breaks when his opponent has momentum drew a lot of criticism lately and made him a villain in the eyes of the fans.

While the break helped Tsitsipas win the fourth set without losing a single gem, he couldn’t pull off a complete comeback. Alcaraz kept his cool in the fifth and claimed a massive upset win after another tiebreak.

With this win, Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest player to win against a top 3 ranked opponent at US Open since 1973. He is also the first to do it so at a Grand Slam tournament since 1989. 

“I think without this crowd I would not have the possibility to win this match,” said Alcaraz after the match. “I was down at the start of the fourth set, so thank you to the crowd for pushing me through. It is an incredible feeling for me.”