Melatonin Mishap: Alcaraz Stuns Tsitsipas in French Open Quarterfinals with Sleep Aid Woes

2023 01 AU Open DX38924 1

Professional tennis players are just like ordinary individuals, facing common challenges and seeking solutions to improve their performance. This was evident when Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 24-year-old tennis player from Greece, reflected on his recent performance at the French Open quarterfinals against Carlos Alcaraz. Tsitsipas, known for his dedication to his craft, provided an unexpected rationale for his subpar showing: the use of melatonin as a sleep aid.

Tsitsipas confessed that he believed his melatonin supplement before the match left him feeling excessively drowsy on the court. In the contest, which commenced around 8:30 p.m. local time and lasted slightly over two hours, Tsitsipas had hoped to rest a little before the game.

However, he realized that combining melatonin and a pre-match nap did not yield the desired results. Reflecting on his experience, Tsitsipas admitted, "One thing that I'll attempt to avoid in the future is taking melatonin pills and napping before matches because it's evidently ineffective."

Melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle, had been Tsitsipas' attempt to address difficulties with his sleep schedule due to recent late-night training sessions. Recognizing the significance of proper sleep and recovery in such demanding tournaments, Tsitsipas acknowledged, "The schedule has been challenging in the past few days. I had some late-night sessions—not excessively late, but enough to disrupt my sleep pattern somehow. Sleep is crucial, and recovery is paramount when competing and participating in major events like this."

Tsitsipas also recalled a prior occasion in 2019 when he had experimented with melatonin before a match against Novak Djokovic at an indoor tournament in Paris. Unfortunately, the outcome was unfavourable, resulting in a 6-1, 6-2 loss for Tsitsipas.

This revelation highlights the relatability of professional tennis players as they face everyday hurdles like maintaining proper sleep schedules and grappling with performance-enhancing techniques. Tsitsipas' experiences remind that even elite athletes must navigate various factors, both within and outside their control, to strive for success in their chosen sport.

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