PARIS (AP) — Jannik Sinner pulled out of the Paris Masters on Thursday in a rare scheduling protest, with the fatigued Italian criticizing organizers for failing to give him enough time to rest following an early morning finish in his previous match.
“I am sorry to announce that I am withdrawing from today’s match in Bercy,” the fourth-seeded Italian wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, to explain his decision which saw third-round opponent Alex de Minaur get a walkover into the quarterfinals.
“I finished the match when it was almost 3 in the morning (Thursday) and didn’t go to bed until a few hours later. I had less than 12 hours to rest and prepare for the next game,” Sinner said.
“I have to make the right decision for my health and my body. The weeks ahead with the ATP Finals at home and the Davis Cup will be very important, now I focus on preparing for these important events. See you in Turin! Forza!”
Sinner had finished playing his second-round match against American Mackenzie McDonald at 2:37 a.m. in Paris.
Sinner was then scheduled to play Thursday in the fourth match on center court of the day session instead of being part of the night session. He would have started against de Minaur around 5 p.m. local time if he had been fit enough.
Sinner got support from other players.
“14,5 hours to recover,” Casper Ruud wrote on X, “what a joke.”
“It’s crazy … tournament doesn’t care and ATP just follow what the tournament will want,” Stan Wawrinka said.
DJOKOVIC OVERCOMES VIRUS
A subpar Novak Djokovic did enough for a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over Tallon Griekspoor to extend his winning streak to 15 matches and widen the gap with Carlos Alcaraz in the race for the year-end No. 1 ranking.
“I think he deserved more the victory today,” Djokovic said on court in French. “I started well but I felt poorly afterward. No injury, just a stomach virus in the past two or three days.”
The top-seeded Djokovic raced to a 4-1 lead only to experience a sudden dip in form, dropping serve twice to lose the first set.
Djokovic, a six-time champion at the Paris Masters, served three double-faults in a poor ninth game and looked almost uninterested and barely played the points when Griekspoor was serving for the set.
The Serbian player called for the physio after the end of the opening set and appeared to take some medicine.
Djokovic saved two break points at 4-4 in the second set before taking a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker and holding serve to level the match.
He then broke in the fifth game of the final set only to drop serve with a double-fault at 4-3.
But Griekspoor made more errors and netted a backhand in the next game to allow Djokovic to serve for the match.
Djokovic converted his first match point when Griekspoor sent a backhand return wide.
Djokovic will meet Holger Rune or Daniel Altmaier in the quarterfinals.
Stefanos Tsitsipas qualified for the ATP Finals by beating Alexander Zverev 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the third round.
Before the Paris Masters, Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Sinner and Andrey Rublev had already qualified.
The seventh-seeded Tsitsipas earned his first win over a top 10 player this season, hitting 37 winners to 28 for Zverev.
“What a great relief to finally get that spot. I’ve been working extremely hard the whole year to be in Turin,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m thrilled to be playing good tennis.”
The Greek took a 3-0 lead but failed to serve out the first set at 5-3 by sending a backhand into the net.
In the tiebreaker, Tsitsipas capitalized on two consecutive forehand errors from Zverev to lead 5-2 before taking the first set with an ace.
Tsitsipas broke Zverev in the opening game of the second set and clinched the victory with his 10th ace.
Zverev can still qualify for the ATP Finals but now depends on the results of other players.
De Minaur and Hubert Hurkacz stayed in contention for the two remaining spots at the eight-man tournament that will be played in Turin from Nov. 12-19.
De Minaur will next play the fifth-seeded Rublev, who ousted qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-3.
The 11th-seeded Hurkacz beat Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3 to next face Grigor Dimitrov, who cruised past Alexander Bublik 6-2, 6-2.
Karen Khachanov, who won the tournament in 2018, rallied to beat qualifier Roman Safiullin 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal match against Tsitsipas.
AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis