Murray criticizes Tsitsipas’ stance at the US Open: ‘I lost respect for him’

(Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)
The press conferences after the game between Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas were almost as hot as the match itself, the most anticipated of the opening round of the US Open in New York. The British tennis player criticized the Greek rival’s posture and questioned his going to the bathroom during the game, which lasted 4h48min.
Murray suggested that Tsitsipas, his tormentor in a tough five-set duel, took advantage of the outings to cool off the game. The Scot highlighted that the two visits to the dressing room coincided with unfavorable moments for the Greek in the balanced match. Tsitsipas, therefore, would have resorted to what is called “catimba” in football.

“It’s about not leaving the court, it’s the time it takes. I had talked to my team about it before the game and in a way I was prepared. But the fact that you can’t stand still that long, it hurts physically. It’s such a brutal game, standing still for seven or eight minutes cools you down a lot. You can mentally prepare for it, but it’s going to affect you physically,” Murray complained.

The Scotsman’s biggest criticism is the time Tsitsipas spent in the bathroom at one of his stops. It was eight minutes off court. By Grand Slam tournament rules, each tennis player can go to the dressing room twice in a five-set match to go to the bathroom or change clothes. There is no time limit, but the rules call for a “reasonable” posture for the tennis player in these circumstances.

“There were other breaks in the game, usually when I was going to serve. The doctor’s request came as soon as I won the third set, then a racket change at 0-30. It can’t be a coincidence that it always happens at those times. he was in some trouble since it was another two hours of play later, and he was great, moving very well,” Murray argued.

For the owner of three Grand Slam titles, Tsitsipas’ attitude affected the result of the match, which the Greek won by 2/6, 7/6 (9/7), 3/6, 6/4 and 6/4. “I was disappointed because it influenced the game. I’m not saying I would necessarily win, but it influenced all those stops. I consider him a very good tennis player, a brilliant player and that’s very good for tennis, but I don’t have the patience for those things. I lost respect for him,” said the former number 1 in the world.

Right after Murray’s press conference, Tsitsipas had a chance to respond to criticism. “I didn’t break any rules, I strictly follow what the ATP says. I think it was pretty clear that I left the court both times to change my uniform and took the exact time to go to the dressing room, change and come back. All I know that the tennis player is allowed to go to the dressing room twice in a five-set game to change clothes, and once in a three-set game,” explained the Greek.

Tsitsipas, currently No. 3 in the world, avoided responding to Murray’s comment about his loss of respect as an athlete. “If there’s something to tell me, it would be good to have a chat to see what went wrong. I don’t know how my opponent feels when I’m in the middle of a match, it’s really not my priority. I have nothing against him, absolutely nothing.” , commented.

The Greek was even asked about German Alexander Zverev’s earlier insinuation about Tsitsipas going to the locker room during the Cincinnati Masters 1000 final, just before the US Open, to receive instructions from his father (and coach) via message. “I’ve never done that, I don’t know what kind of imagination you have to get to this point. I can’t even take it seriously because it’s absolutely ridiculous to think that,” he countered.

RESULTS – This Tuesday night saw victories by two of the favorites for the US Open titles. Russian Daniil Medvedev, second seed, eliminated experienced Frenchman Richard Gasquet by 6/4, 6/3 and 6/1. In the second round, his opponent will be the German Dominik Koepfer, 57th in the ranking.

In female, the highlight was the Japanese Naomi Osaka. One of the main stars of the American Grand Slam, the owner of two US Open titles beat Czech Marie Bouzkova by 6/4 and 6/1. His next opponent will be Serbian Olga Danilovic, who came from qualifying.

Another contender for the title, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka needed three sets to defeat Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic 6/4, 6/7 (4/7) and 6/0. Also victorious debuted were former ranking leaders Angelique Kerber, from Germany, and Victoria Azarenka, from Belarus, as well as Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, fifth seed in New York.