Greece’s young tennis sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas eased into the second round of the US Open with a three-set win over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
The Greek player needed just one hour and 38 minutes to dispose of the world number 41, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.
However, in the post-match news conference, he expressed his towel troubles.
Due to the pandemic, towel service (from the ball kids) is on a break at the U.S. Open and players no longer have regular access to their towel (between points, as they usually would).
“It has huge importance, the towel. I use it very often. It gives me time to think, gives me time to refresh myself and think about my tactics,” the 22-year-old said.
“I have sort of a history with the towel. I used to have a towel when I was three, four years old and I would always carry it around. It was like my toy, basically. The towel resembles something special in my life. And also it’s not very comfortable playing all sweaty and having sweat drip from your face and get to your eyes,” he continued.
However, the youngest player ranked in the top 10 by the ATP also said that it is important to be respectful to the ball kids. Tsitsipas himself was a ball boy as a young player and said that he knows it is not an easy job. “It’s not always easy to keep your cool. But at the same time, you’ve got to have that human side where you have to be more intimate. Show more respect. Show better values as a person towards another person. We have the ball boys who do a great job. I have huge respect for them. Being under the heat and having to do so many things. Multi-tasking at the same time,” Tsitsipas added.
The 22-year-old will play American wildcard Maxime Cressy in round two.