Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas retires from Zhuhai opener
Struggling top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas quit his opening match at the Zhuhai Championships on Thursday after calling a medical time-out before the deciding set.
The 21-year-old Greek was the strong favourite against unseeded Adrian Mannarino of France and took the first set 6-3 in southern China.
But he appeared to labour badly after that, bending over several times on court and putting his hands on his knees.
He was far from his best as he lost the second set 7-5, and retired soon after, looking red in the face and burying his head in his hands.
Last weekend, played doubles alongside Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup, the latest step in his fast ascent, although he lost both matches.
That daunting but ageing duo, Tsitsipas along with Novak Djokovic, have reigned over men’s tennis for 15 years, but Tsitsipas is not content to wait for them to retire before he takes his chance.
Along with the likes of Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev, Tsitsipas is frequently mentioned among the new generation challenging the supremacy of the “Big Three”.
“In order to get higher in the rankings, we have to surpass them and it’s quite a difficult task,” the world number seven told AFP at the Zhuhai Championships.
“But we are working on it, by ‘we’ I mean the young guys.
“As my slogan goes, don’t wait for an opportunity, create it.
“So I like to go after that and I don’t think it’s right to wait because you kind of surrender when you wait.”