Andy Murray has said she ‘lost respect’ for Stefanos Tsitsipas and accused the Greek star of ‘cheating’ during their intense first round battle at the US Open.
Despite a spirited challenge, Murray went down 6-2, 6-7 (7), 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 to the third seed on Monday.
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The Brit was ticked off as Tsitsipas took an eight-minute bathroom break before the fifth set.
“It’s not so much leaving the court. It’s the amount of time,” Murray said. “It’s nonsense and he knows it. I think he’s great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff at all and I lost respect for him.”
🇬🇷 @steftsitsipas overcomes a brave Andy Murray 2-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to advance at the #USOpen pic.twitter.com/kj8hK1Btcf
— ATP Tour (@atptour) August 30, 2021
Tsitsipas also left court for a toilet break at the end of the second set and had a medical time-out for treatment on a foot injury before the fourth set. In the fourth set, when down 0-30 in a game, Tsitsipas halted to switch racquets.
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During the final set, where Murray was broken in the first game, the 34-year-old Scot could be heard shouting towards his box: “It is cheating.”
He also complained to chair umpire Nico Helwerth and US Open match supervisor Gerry Armstrong about the length of time taken by Tsitsipas.
Murray says his adrenaline dropped after long delays by Tsitsipas.
“It’s not so much leaving the court. It’s the amount of time,” Murray said. “I spoke to my team before the match about it and said to expect that, prepare for it if things were not going his way.
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“You cannot stop the way that affects you physically. When you’re playing a brutal match like that, stopping for seven, eight minutes, you do cool down.
“You can prepare for it mentally as much as you like, but it’s the fact that it does affect you physically when you take a break that long, well, multiple times during the match.
Andy is right!
— Milos Raonic (@milosraonic) August 31, 2021
“Every single time it was before my serve as well. When he took the medical timeout (for his left leg), it was just after I had won the third set.
“It’s just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match.”
The Greek, however, brushed off Murray’s remarks and said he was well within the rules.
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“If there’s something he has to tell me, we should speak the two of us to kind of understand what went wrong,” Tsitsipas said. “I don’t think I broke any rules. I played by the guidelines.
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. 🚽 🚀
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) August 31, 2021
“As far as I’m playing by the rules and sticking to what the ATP says is fair, then the rest is fine. I have nothing against him. Absolutely nothing.”
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Players are allowed two breaks for using the toilet and changing clothes in a five-set match, with breaks only permitted at the end of a set.
“A player may request permission to leave the court for a reasonable time for a toilet break,” Grand Slam rules state. The Greek is soon developing a reputation of taking ‘timely’ breaks to disrupt the opponents’ rhythm.
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Alexander Zverev protested a lengthy bathroom break by Tsitsipas in a semi-final match two weeks ago at Cincinnati.
A frustrated Murray barely greeted Tsitsipas at the net after the match.
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Murray said he didn’t want his complaints to sound like “sour grapes” adding, “I would have said the same thing if I’d won, I promise.
“I’m sitting in here talking about bathroom breaks and medical timeouts and delays in matches. That’s rubbish. I don’t think that that’s right.”