Tsitsipas denies illegal coaching claim

Murray Wenzel |

Claims of in-match coaching that riled up Daniil Medvedev have been laughed aside by defeated Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Their Friday night battle at Melbourne Park turned on its head when Medvedev launched an incredible tirade at the chair umpire, adamant that Tsitsipas’s father and coach Apostolos was giving his son illegal advice between points.

Screaming at Jaume Campistol, he dared the umpire to issue a code violation after losing his serve and then the second set.

The Russian world No.2 somehow cooled off, winning 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 6-1 to book a date with Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final.

But in a dramatic subplot to the enthralling contest, officials were planted under the Tsitsipas coaching box after the incident and in the fourth set the Greek was issued a warning for coaching.

A regular occurrence on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas pleaded his innocence post-match while labelling Medvedev “not the most mature”.

“You saw me the other day, losing the score twice in two of my matches … I cannot hear anything when I’m playing, it’s impossible,” he explained. 

“Having the crowd being so loud in every single point, I mean, you have to have super hearing to be able to hear what your coach says.”

The world No.4 has previously argued that in-match coaching should be made legal because it’s so widespread anyway, but that he’s spent “countless hours” trying to stop his father’s natural inclination to speak during matches.

“When there is a lot of action, his medicine is to talk, and you can’t stop it,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep receiving coaching violations, even though I will never listen to any single thing he says. 

“But it’s fine, they (officials) can do that if they want, if they believe it’s right.”

Tsitsipas regretted a missed opportunity at 4-1 up in the first-set tie-break but was otherwise pleased with his progress in his first major since elbow surgery late last year.

“I have been able to take that next step, and that next step is serving without pain, something that I was unable to do when my serve was at its worst a few months ago, having to deal with so much pain after every single serve,” he said.

“I strongly believe I will be able to do very well here one day and share that joy and happiness with the fellow Aussies here and the Greek community.

“It is a tournament that I very much love, and it is a tournament that I want to thrive in one day.”