Marseille tournament director Jean-Francois Caujolle has explained that Petros Tsitsipas was given a wild card as a ‘thanks’ to his family.
Eyebrows were raised when Petros, the world number 971, received a singles wildcard to play the tournament.
That meant that he was ranked 775 places below the lowest-ranked alternate for the competition.
It did not sit well with many, and Caujolle has now confirmed that Stefanos Tsitsipas, the world number five, essentially bought his brother’s spot in the draw.
“The wildcard awarded to Petros is in thanks to the Tsitsipas family, who support the tournament,” Caujolle said.
“You should know that Stefanos’s appearance fee is twice less than the one he could have taken elsewhere.”
« La wild-card accordée à Petros est en remerciement à la famille Tsitsipas, qui soutient le tournoi. Il faut savoir que la garantie de Stefanos est deux fois moindre à ce qu’il aurait pu prétendre ailleurs » Signé JF Caujolle. #open13
— Eric Salliot (@ericsalliot) March 14, 2021
Petros looked as out of his depth as his ranking would suggest in the tournament too.
He was able to win just two games before getting comprehensively outclassed by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, meanwhile, reached the quarterfinals before losing out to Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
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