Stefanos Tsitsipas believes it is the job of the ball kid “to provide towels and balls for the players”.
As usual, the ATP is using the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan to trial several innovations and the towel rack at the side of the court is one of them as it will “remove the onus on ball kids to handle towels”.
The move also came on the back of Spaniard Fernando Verdasco copping flak on social media after he snapped at a ball boy for not handing him his towel quickly enough.
Tsitsipas and his fellow Next Gen competitors were the first to make use of the towel racks on Tuesday, but the Greek is unimpressed by the innovation.
“One thing I didn’t like that much was the towel thing. I always had to run for the towel, always had it in my mind when I was playing,” he is quoted as saying by Telegraph Sport.
“When you play at a high level, you have the ball kids give you the towels, so it’s a bit unusual to not have that when you play a match.
“I think having the towels whenever you need it, it’s very helpful. It’s one thing less that you have to think about. So I believe to be playing your best game you don’t need to think about whether you’re going to take your towel now or later.
“You can just call the ball kid. I think the ball kid, it’s their job to provide towels and balls for the players. Somehow they need to function because they make our job easier if they do this.”
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