Tsitsipas And Father Apostolos Stopped By Umpire From Talking During Barcelona Semifinal

Tsitsipas And Father Apostolos Stopped By Umpire From Talking During Barcelona Semifinal

by Nurein Ahmed

On-court coaching was once taboo in tennis before the practice was eventually permitted last year, albeit not to the extent that it developed into a conversation.

Interactions between a player and a coach are limited to hand signals and not-so-complex instructions emanating from the coach. This is only allowed during the 25 seconds before a point is played and when the player is on the same side as his coach's box.

Now that coaching is allowed, it is still advisable to keep instructions private. Yapping out tactics and instructions is prohibited, as this can easily disrupt an opponent's rhythm and concentration. It is a means of balancing the rule of fairness.

On Saturday, Stefanos Tsitsipas was embroiled in a physical battle against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic at the Barcelona Open. During the match, Tsitsipas's father and coach, Apostolos, stepped out of line.

Apostolos is always his son's fervent supporter on a tennis court and tends to use every possible alternative to help him win a match, including on-court coaching.

Prominent Portuguese journalist Jose Morgado tweeted on X (formerly Twitter) that Apostolos had to be stopped by the chair umpire, Nacho Forcadell. Forcadell left his seat between sets to inform Apostolos and Tsitsipas that they could not get chatty between every point.

No warning was given to the Greek, but whatever dialogue he engaged in with his father between points proved decisive. Tsitsipas broke Lajovic midway through the second set to level the match.

The fifth seed lifted his game in the decider, securing two breaks of serve to ease into his second successive final of this year's clay swing. Tsitsipas will face Casper Ruud in the title match, in a rematch of the Monte Carlo final just a week ago, which the 25-year-old won in straight sets.

Ruud has not triumphed above the ATP 250 level, and Tsisipas has not won an ATP 500 title. One of these two infamous records will have to be erased on Sunday in Barcelona.


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