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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday August 31, 2021

Defending US Open champion Dominic Thiem isn’t in action this year due to a wrist injury, but the Austrian has been appearing on Tennis Channel to give his commentary on the action at 2021’s final major.

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On Tuesday morning he spoke with host Steve Weissman about yesterday’s toilet break controversy during Stefanos Tsitsipas’ five-set victory over Andy Murray.

Tennis Express

Thiem says he can see both sides of the story, and he went on to say that bathroom breaks should be given a time limit to minimize controversy (before adding that he enjoyed the spiciness of the contest and its aftermath in press).

“First of all it was a hell of a match, and great for tennis and it’s also nice that things are heated from time to time,” he said. “But I saw almost all the match and I can totally understand Andy but my point of view is that, especially in the conditions of New York, you need to go out, in a five-setter, at least twice, because you just need to change your pants, there’s no way around that especially if you sweat that much.”


Thiem believes that players should be given a strict time limit, but we will interject here and say that it is difficult to impose a time limit when bathroom breaks are located at varying distances from the courts in New York. What happens if you need a bathroom break out on Court 4 and there is nowhere nearby to go? Just saying…

Anyhow, here is Thiem’s take:

“There should be a time limit to that, because if you go out and you change all your clothes, it doesn’t take longer than three or four minutes – maximum five – so there should be a time limit on that,” he said.

Thiem sympathized with Murray, saying he knows how a seven-minute break can cause the body to cool down and make muscles tight. It’s not easy for a professional athlete to go cold for seven minutes, waiting, then expect to start back up immediately. It takes a bit.

“I heard Andy’s press conference and he was right,” Thiem said. “It just cools down your body, you are getting stiff and it is not easy at all, so there should be a time limit but it needs to be allowed to go out just to change your clothes because, also it happened to Andy, once all the sweat is going down to your shoes, to your feet, you cannot move anymore, so that’s my point of view of that, but in general it was a hell of a match and great for tennis and sometimes it’s good if things are spicing up a little bit.”

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