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Tsitsipas regrets tirade at umpire on way to victory

 

Rant: Stefanos Tsitsipas
Rant: Stefanos Tsitsipas

By Eleanor Crooks

Stefanos Tsitsipas had to apologise for an expletive-laden rant at the Australian Open as he set up a fourth-round clash with Roger Federer.

20-year-old Tsitsipas is arguably the most exciting young talent in men's tennis and his meeting with defending champion Federer will be one to savour.

But the young Greek also has a temper and, after the umpire decided to replay a set point for Tsitsipas during his clash with Nikoloz Basilashvili at 5-3 in the third set, the 14th seed let rip.

Melbourne's Greek population have turned out in numbers to support Tsitsipas and his countrywoman Maria Sakkari, and there were a lot of young fans in Margaret Court Arena.

Pressed on his language afterwards, Tsitsipas said: "It was heat of the moment. I said some really bad things. I regret saying them. But I really wanted this really bad.

"At that moment it felt like it was slipping (away). He kind of found comfort and confidence after that. So I was really frustrated. I didn't quite think what I was saying. I wish I could change that and wouldn't say that. It's not the right attitude."

Among a talented generation, Tsitsipas stands out with his flowing curly locks and flamboyant game, but it is his fighting spirit that is perhaps his greatest asset and he showed it in abundance to beat the dangerous Basilashvili 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7) 6-4.

• ANDY Murray is yet to make a final decision on whether to have hip surgery but has pulled out of a tournament in Marseille next month.

The former World No.1 headed home from Melbourne earlier this week, following his emotional first-round defeat by Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open, weighing up whether to have a resurfacing operation that could extend his career or end it completely.

Even if Murray (31) does not have the operation, he has stated he would spend the time getting ready for a farewell appearance at Wimbledon, so it was no surprise to see a statement from the Open 13 in Marseille announcing Murray's withdrawal. He will also miss tournaments he had committed to in Dubai and Montpellier.

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