NEW YORK – Stefanos Tsitsipas took another trademark long bathroom break then credited it for advancing to the third round of the US Open on Wednesday as a storm lashing New York forced the suspension of an indoor match.
The 23-year-old Greek third seed was booed after taking more than eight minutes between the third and fourth sets but dominated after his extended toilet trip to flush Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-0 at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I think taking a break and going to change — I was completely wet — I was refreshed,” Tsitsipas said when asked about the key to sweeping the final set in 30 minutes. “I was much more able to deliver good tennis in the fourth set. I was able to stay resilient on each and every point.”
Tsitsipas has been ridiculed by Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev for extended bathroom breaks seen as gamesmanship. French Open runner-up Tsitsipas, who says he’s only following ATP rules that have no time limit on toilet breaks, fired a career-high 27 aces, five more than his previous best, in winning his ATP-best 50th match of the year.
High winds and water drenched the grounds and wind-blown rain entered through upper corner openings under the closed roof of Louis Armstrong Stadium to suspend a second-round match between South African Kevin Anderson and Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman. Remnants of deadly Hurricane Ida would shut down the covered court after twice interrupting the match, with the National Weather Service issuing a tornado and flash flood warnings for the area.
Anderson and Schwartzman resumed in Ashe after Tsitsipas’s victory, with the South American winning 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-4. Defending champion Naomi Osaka advanced by walkover while Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev breezed into the third round over Germany’s Dominik Koepfer 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Osaka reached the third round when 20-year-old Serbian qualifier Olga Danilovic withdrew due to illness.
Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open winner who could meet Osaka in the fourth round, beat 21st seed Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-2 in an all-American showdown. Medvedev, a winner last month in Toronto, also beat Koepfer on his way to the 2019 US Open final, which he lost to Rafael Nadal. Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev beat Spain’s Pedro Martinez 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-1. He next faces 50th-ranked American Frances Tiafoe, who warns, “I’m coming after him.”
Two-time Grand Slam winners Victoria Azarenka and Garbine Muguruza booked a third-round showdown. Muguruza beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2, taking her first win in four tries against the German. She will next face two-time Australian Open champion and three-time US Open runner-up Azarenka, who defeated Italy’s Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 7-6 (7/1). Simona Halep beat Slovakian Kristina Kucova 6-3, 6-1.