Stefanos Tsitsipas feels he has been misunderstood after the villain of the 2021 US Open was knocked out within the third spherical by rising star Carlos Alcaraz.
The third seed had come underneath hearth for the timing and size of his bathroom breaks, with Andy Murray closely criticising him following their first-round match.
The crowd had been once more sad as Tsitsipas left courtroom after dropping the third set earlier than coming again to bagel Alcaraz within the fourth – an additional instance of the gamesmanship he has been accused of.
Tsitsipas has labelled these “completely false” and says he has been made the villain “for no reason”.
He mentioned: “I’m not pretending that everyone loves me. My intentions are not to be loved by everyone. Every person can choose their favourite player, pick a side. I felt that way, but I kind of have ignored it.
“Because people don’t know, that’s the thing. When people are not really in the sport and don’t know what is happening, I mean, all these accusations have been completely false.
“Then the crowd here, I guess these two things were the most intense that took place here. I was surprised in a way. I don’t really let myself take me down because I’m out there playing my game. I mean, fan support is important, but I just need to go out there and perform. It doesn’t matter at that point.
“I know all of these things have been against me for no reason. I took my toilet break as a normal athlete. Might have taken a bit longer than other athletes.
“But if there is a rule that says there’s a specific amount of time that you are allowed to take, then I would probably try and follow that protocol, that rule, and stay within the guidelines and try and follow it as much as possible.
“But I feel like people, they don’t understand. They are here for the show. They want to watch tennis. They’re very impatient, especially the new generation. They just want to get it done quick.
“For me the only thing I did is change from wet clothes to dry clothes. Apparently it’s a huge issue.”
While Tsitsipas was left defending himself, Alcaraz was basking in a “dream come true”.
The Spaniard has already been hailed as Rafael Nadal’s successor and he seized his likelihood on the large stage in very good vogue.
He mentioned: “I have not words to explain how I feeling right now. I just don’t know what happened out there in the court. I can’t believe that I beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic match.
“For me it’s a dream come true.”
Second seed Daniil Medvedev made serene progress into the fourth spherical the place he’ll meet Briton Dan Evans.
The Russian eased previous Pablo Andujar-Alba 6-0 6-4 6-3 and by no means seemed in peril.
Diego Schwartzman, seeded 11, additionally had a snug night time, motoring previous Alex Molcan 6-4 6-3 6-3.