Toilet game changer takes a break
Hindustan Times Delhi|November 29, 2021
Why toilet breaks in tennis, used often as a tactical ploy more than a call of nature, create controversies
Rutvick Mehta

MUMBAI: Fact of the day. It takes Stefanos Tsitsipas twice as long to go the bathroom as it takes Jeff Bezos to fly into space. Interesting. This tweet by Andy Murray, with an emoji of a toilet seat followed by a rocket, after his first round US Open loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas not only sent tennis Twitter into a spin-it garnered 84.4K likes-but got the ATP cracking the whip on the amount of time professional male players can while away in a toilet during a match. Elsewhere on another court, on a totally unrelated subject, it also got Nick Kyrgios all in a froth. When told by the umpire that fetching his own towels was part of the game now, the Aussie replied: “Taking 20-minute bathroom breaks is part of the game? I need to take a sh*t, part of the game.

Toilet breaks may hardly find a mention in any other sport but in tennis, the issue simply refuses to get flushed down. It reached a flashpoint a few months ago in New York as Tsitsipas took a toilet break lasting almost eight minutes before the start of the fifth set against Murray, after already having taken one before the third. Murray went on an on-court rant, complaining about the amount of time the Greek was away. With his mind heating up and his body cooling down, the 34-year-old lost the final set 6-4. From accusing him of cheating to saying he'd lost respect a day later, Murray had taken Tsitsipas-who, to be sure, was well within the rules-and the toilet tussle head-on.

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