Adidas has the future pin-up boy of tennis on its books in Stefanos Tsitsipas but it has some work to do in ensuring his play does the talking.
It was impossible to ignore the Greek star’s shorts during his 6-4 6-2 7-5 defeat against Daniil Medvedev on Friday night that sent the red-hot Russian into a final against Novak Djokovic.
Everything was in place as Tsitspas entered Rod Laver Arena. His magnificent mane was secured by a stylish headband, his socks were pulled high and his tennis ball coloured shirt fit the occasion.
But it was a muggy 30C in Melbourne and with an at time impassable backline presence in Medvedev across the net, it quickly became sweaty work for the 22-year-old.
That’s to be expected at this, or any level, of professional sport. But apparently Adidas’ apparel developers hadn’t accounted for it.
The olive green colouring of Tsitsipas’ shorts are an absolute no-go for anyone who perspires easily. Any sweat will immediately create an unmissable dark patch and that’s exactly what happened to Tsitsipas in all the wrong areas not long into the first set.
Stefanos Tsitsipas’ awkward wardrobe malfunction. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The face of a man who knows his crotch has soaked through. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
These shorts were inspired by Billy Madison. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Viewers couldn’t look away as the match and his dignity slipped from Tsitspas’ grasp.
“Millions of dollars of material technology research and they don’t do the ‘does it look like he sh*t himself when he sweats’ test? Astounding,” a tennis fan wrote on Twitter.
“Those shorts are very problematic. Adidas has a lot to answer for,” added Roni Shewan.
“Stefanos Tsitsipas looks pretty flat out there, and his butt looks incredibly wet,” tweeted tennis journo Ben Rothenberg. “Both concerning in their own ways.”
“For me, the strangest storyline of this match so far: Tsitsipas left the court for a break between the second and third sets. Why DIDN’T he change his sweaty, sweaty shorts?” added the Twitter account for The Tennis Podcast.
What’s weirder is it wasn’t the first time the world number six had worn the shorts this tournament – or had issues with them showing his sweat.
The sweat on these shorts make Tsitsipas look like he’s had a very bad accident #AusOpen
In the end Tsitsipas was spared a lengthy embarrassment as Medvedev wrapped up the match in two hours to spark hope he has a genuine chance of becoming the first player to beat Djokovic in an Australian Open final.
Medvedev, now into his second grand slam decider on the back of a 20-match winning streak, said the world number one has “more things to lose” on Sunday.
Djokovic, with 17 major titles, has won all eight of his Australian Open finals and is looking to close the gap on the record of 20 Slam trophies held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“I like that I don’t have a lot of pressure because he never lost in eight times that he was here in the final,” said the 25-year-old world number four.
“So it’s him who has all the pressure, getting to Roger and Rafa in the Grand Slams (list).
“So I just hope that I’m going to get out there, show my best tennis. As we see I can beat some big names if I play good.
“For sure he has more experience, but more things to lose.”
Medvedev, the king of smugness, has now beaten 12 top-10 players and lifted three trophies during his winning run.
Daniil Medvedev was exceptional. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Take your sweaty butt home. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Friday’s win included “one of my best shots in my career” — an off-balance backhand that rocketed past Tsitsipas to break for 6-5 in the final set.
“That was the moment that I won the match,” he said. “The shot was unbelievable, I think one of my best shots in my career.
“Actually, my legs were facing the other way of the court because I didn’t have time, so I have no idea how I made this, and I was really happy about it.” He said the lessons learned in his debut Slam final, when he came from two sets down to give Nadal a huge scare at the 2019 US Open, would help him on Sunday.
“It’s experience, it was my first Grand Slam final against one of the greatest. On Sunday I’m going to come against one of the other greatest,” he said.
“I played against Rafa in this crazy US Open match. It’s an experience that maybe, if we’re going to have some crazy match, can turn some things for me and not against me.”
— with AFP
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