Andy Roddick has voiced his disapproval after Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed that the ATP Finals is “a bigger thing” than winning a Grand Slam. The American tennis great has said that he “1000% fully disagrees” with Tsitsipas’ “ridiculous” comments and has launched a strong defence of the major tennis tournaments.
Tsitsipas’ remarks came ahead of the season-ending ATP Finals taking place in Turin. The Greek was one of eight players who had qualified for the tournament following a successful season that saw him win the ATP 250 Los Cabos Open and reach the Australian Open final – where he was defeated by Novak Djokovic.
Despite impressing on one of tennis’ biggest stages, the 25-year-old believes that the ATP Finals hold more weight than wins at Wimbledon, the French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open.
“It’s a whole celebration,” he said via the official ATP website. “The ATP Finals is a commemoration and celebration of the best of the best in our sport.”
“It means a lot,” he added. “I would consider it probably a bigger thing than a ‘Slam, honestly. It has big prestige and it’s a very valuable asset if you’re able to conquer and win it.”
Taking umbrage with his claims, Roddick was quick to fire back. The American has only won the one Grand Slam in his career at the 2003 US Open, and reached three Wimbledon finals, but clearly feels strongly about tennis’ most prestigious tournaments.
“I know he said something ridiculous this week about how this is bigger than a ‘Slam if you win it,” he said via Tennis Channel. “I 1000 percent fully disagree and I don’t even think he believes what he said but I would’ve had an eye on next year, especially if you’re nursing multiple injuries.
“And then if you kind of sweeten the pot with, ‘Listen if I don’t play it gives someone else on Tour, that I have to see throughout the year, a look at the basket and to be able to get in.’ You want his team to kind of be able to speak up there maybe a little bit louder.”
The former US Open champion’s comments come following Tsitsipas’ forced withdrawal from the ATP Finals. The Greek retired three games into his match against Holger Rune due to a back injury.
“My opinion is that, if your elbow is beat up, if your back is beat up and you’re down a match already, you’ve got to start thinking about January,” Roddick went on to add.
“Listen, he made the finals in Australia last year, he’s always played well down there. So if I’m in his team I’m going, ‘Listen is the juice worth the squeeze for this tournament especially as we look forward to next year.’ I probably would’ve leaned towards no, we’ve got to make sure we’re healthy.”
Following Tsitsipas’ withdrawal from the match after just 17 minutes, the World No. 6 was booed by the crowd. He has since been replaced by first alternate Hubert Hurkacz who will play this season’s three-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic on Thursday (November 16).