Andy Murray has strongly criticised his first-round US Open opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas for taking lengthy breaks during their marathon five-set match at Flushing Meadows on Monday.
Murray performed at his best level for some time against the world No 3 in a match that lasted nearly five hours, but lost 2-6 7-6(7) 3-6 6-3 6-4.
Before the decisive fifth set, Tsitsipas left the court and did not return for seven minutes. During his absence, Murray complained to the umpire and to the match supervisor, Jerry Armstrong, about the long delay. When his opponent returned, Murray lost his next service game as Tsitsipas took control of the final set and closed out the match.
“The toilet’s right there. What’s he doing in there?” a visibly agitated Murray asked Armstrong during Tsitsipas’s break. “It’s never once taken me that long to go to the toilet, ever.”
After the match Murray said: “It’s not so much leaving the court, it’s the amount of time . . . you can not stop the way that that affects you physically. It’s disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match. I’m not saying I win that match for sure, but it had influence on what was happening after those breaks.”
Tsitsipas had also left the court for a toilet break before the third set and called for a medical time-out to receive treatment for a foot injury before the fourth set.
“I rate him a lot, he’s a brilliant player and he’s great for the game,” Murray said. “But I have zero time for that stuff, at all, and I lost respect for him. If everyone else feels like that’s totally cool and there’s no issue with it then maybe I’m the one being unreasonable. But I think it’s nonsense and he knows it as well.”
Murray was still clearly furious about the length of Tsitsipas's breaks on Tuesday, seen in a rather sarcastic, and funny, tweet he posted about the issue. "Fact of the day. It takes Stefanos Tsitipas twice as long to go the bathroom as it takes Jeff Bazos to fly into space. Interesting," wrote the 34-year-old.
Tsitsipas will meet Adrian Mannarino of France, the world No 44, in the second round on Wednesday.