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Following in the footsteps of Matteo Berrettini, Stefanos Tsitsipas withdrew from the ATP Finals this week. This meant that both groups were reliant on an alternate player stepping in and competing. Of course, this is terrible news for the players that had to retire, but I will be focusing on Tsitsipas here. In his opening game, he was defeated by Andrey Rublev, a talented young Russian. However, while the defeat wasn’t entirely shocking, something clearly looked wrong with Tsitsipas on the court.
In his previous tournament, he was visibly clutching at his elbow during his game against Popyrin. But he did not address this too much with the media. Instead, he arrived at Turin and was ready to give the tournament a shot. Sadly, his elbow injury had not recovered enough for him to continue in the tournament. And now, his 2021 season is over.
But is his injury really that bad? Can he recover in time for 2022? Find out below.
The ins and outs of Tsitsipas’ injury woes
Whenever a player is forced to retire from a match, it’s always somewhat concerning. However, while Tsitsipas is out of the ATP finals, I don’t believe it is all bad.
Relatively fresh injury
One of the most positive things about this injury is that it is relatively fresh. Injuries only start to become a major concern when they are recurring and consistent. As far as I’m aware, it was only a few weeks back, in Paris, where Tsitsipas first suffered from this injury. And to be completely honest, he didn’t really have the time to get the injury better in time for the ATP Finals.
Perfect timing for recovery
Speaking of time, it is officially the end of the 2022 season for him. The ATP Finals always marks the end, and for many players, it is the start of some welcomed time off. I have no doubts that Tsitsipas will already be on the case regarding the recovery. And given that he’s a prestigious player, he will have access to fantastic medical and physio teams. I truly believe that the Christmas break is the best period for him to recover.
He is young
At the end of the day, younger players tend to recover quicker than older players. That’s just part of the sport, and yes, it blows for the older guys! But at the time of writing, Tsitsipas is just 23 years of age. At this age, his body will no doubt recover quickly, and given the medical treatment he will also be receiving, this will likely be accelerated.
2022 Australian Open looking likely
For those players who have already ended the 2021 campaign, all eyes will naturally be turning to the Australian Open. Stefanos Tsitsipas is a real contender for Grand Slams these days. Therefore, this tournament will be a massive priority for him. But since he has suffered this injury, I have my doubts as to whether he will compete in all of the warm-up events. However, the Grand Slam is certainly one he will show up for!