Australian Open 2023 – Andy Murray’s night battle against Kokkinakis sparks controversy: “distortion of competition”

Andy Murray was beside himself. And that despite the fact that moments earlier he had leveled a two-set deficit against Thanasi Kokkinakis.

The reason for the Scot’s anger: Before the game went into the deciding set, he wasn’t allowed a bathroom break. A glance at the clock also caused discomfort. “I follow the rules,” Murray told the chair umpire. He added: “But it’s so disrespectful that we’re here until three or four in the morning and we’re not allowed to go to the toilet. It’s a joke – and you know it. ”

Murray continued: “It’s disrespectful to you, disrespectful to ballplayers, disrespectful to players. It’s ridiculous.” After bursting on the bench, the old star kept his cool on the pitch – after playing time of 5:45 minutes, Murray converted the match point in 4: 6, 6: 7 (4: 7 ), 7:6 (7:5), 6:3, 7:5.

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After the epic battle, the 35-year-old stressed that the focus was on time and not on the quality of play. is the discussion.”

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McEnroe “stunned”

A number of critical voices were raised afterwards. Above all, the appointments and the fact that three out of four Grand Slam tournaments (at Wimbledon it ends at 11:00 p.m. out of consideration for the residents, Note. editor) there is no curfew was discussed.

“I’m amazed the game is still being played at this point,” Eurosport pundit John McEnroe said afterwards. “It’s crazy that games at this level are played at four in the morning.” Murray has attested that the seven-time Grand Slam winner has “the heart of a champion” because of his comeback qualities.

Five highlights: The best points between Murray and Kokkinakis

McEnroe, on the other hand, didn’t give the tournament organizers a good report: “It’s rare that something like this happens,” he said of the length of the match. He added: “But you should make sure something like this doesn’t happen at all. Of course, it’s a game that people will talk about for a long time, but it’s absurd that it’s being played right now. In what other sport is this played at 4 am do we know this from soccer, american football or nba?

McEnroe sees Murray’s chances of reaching the round of 16 dwindling due to a possible arrhythmia. “It’s a game that seriously affects Andy’s chances of progressing,” said the former world-class player. Barbara Rittner of Eurosport came to a similar conclusion: “Something has to change in tennis. We’re completely losing the rhythm. Why are you playing two night sessions after 7 p.m. when you know everything is going to be delayed?”, she asked Eurosport. . “It distorts everything. How should Andy Murray be able to perform well in the rest of the tournament?”

Round 2: Murray survives 5:45 fight with Kokkinakis – highlights

Becker: ‘I call it a distortion of competition’

Boris Becker was even clearer. “I call it a distortion of competition,” said the Eurosport expert. He explained: “The poor guy stays on the pitch until 4:06 a.m., goes to the locker room, then there’s recovery, then the press conference. He doesn’t come to the hotel until 6:00 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. morning hours. The whole biorhythm is turned upside down.”

The two active stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jannik Sinner saw the whole thing less critically. “I got it (Murray, Note. editor) before my match today and I thought: what is he doing here? He should be in bed. You have to come to terms with that. What should you do?” Tsitsipas said. “I think tennis loves these games. There are so many stories behind it.” Sinner soberly agreed with the Greek: “It’s part of our sport.”

Tournament Director Craig Tiley also joined in the discussion. He sees no need to adjust the schedule. “If you only schedule one game for the evening and there is an injury, you have nothing for the fans or for the television stations,” he told the television station “ nine”. There is “no reason to change the schedule at this stage”.

Tiley’s statements should not necessarily meet with the approval of many players and pundits.

You might also be interested in: Sinner with comeback victory, Tsitsipas clear – perfect duel

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