Stefanos Tsitsipas apologized to fans in his press conference this Tuesday at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he had to withdraw after playing three games against Holger Rune due to a back injury. The Greek leaves the season finale event and will be replaced in the Green Group by Hubert Hurkacz.
“My apologies to the fans and to all the people who came today to support me and watch the game. I am disappointed that I was not able to finish the game. It is a shame not to be able to give the place to another player so that he can at least try,” said Tsitsipas. . “My doctors and the countless visits I have had in recent days suggested that I could play, they gave me the green light and I have tried.”
“Unfortunately I felt terrible on the court. I did everything I could, in the best way possible, to be prepared for this match. Things didn’t work out for me.”
Tsitsipas kept his only service game against Rune and managed to generate two break points against the Dane. However, in the first change of sides he withdrew from the match.
“I hate retiring from tournaments,” Tsitsipas said. “I am not the type of person who enjoys leaving in the middle of the match. It hurts me not to be able to finish this tournament, an event that I have been preparing for a long time with the idea of being in top shape and showing my best level as a player.
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The 2023 Nitto ATP Finals champion offered more details about his physical problems, revealing that he has not been able to spend much time on the court in recent days.
“I had problems with my mobility. Mainly, it affects me when I move. It is difficult to compete in the match without having to move. This is tennis, it is not darts,” Tsitsipas said. “For me, it’s important to feel fit and comfortable with my back. The pain was very intense. I’ve played with pain in the past, I’ve endured discomfort, but this was too much.”
“I had to make the difficult decision. I noticed it in the second game of the match. In fact, I noticed it in the warm-up with my serve, warm-up with my serve. I felt strong irritation and a lot of pain in my back. At that moment I knew that maybe I wouldn’t be able to complete the game.”
Two years ago in Turin, Tsitsipas left the Nitto ATP Finals after his first group stage match. This year he lost his debut against Jannik Sinner and tried to take the court against Rune, but was unable to complete the match. Hurkacz will face world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Thursday.
“It has been unfortunate. I have had two editions in Turin where I have had to withdraw from the tournament. I have never had to withdraw before. Very few times during my careers that I can remember,” Tsitsipas said. “It hurts me because this is the tournament that means the most to me, including the Grand Slams. I haven’t been able to compete as I would have liked.”