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Tournament boss sticks to schedule despite Murray’s night marathon

Updated on 01/20/2023 at 11:45 a.m.

  • Andy Murray missed the tournament record by just eight minutes: the tennis legend beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in a marathon match in Melbourne.
  • The five-movement thriller doesn’t end until a little after four in the morning.
  • Murray isn’t the only one complaining about the nomination.
  • The Tournament Director takes a stand.

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Tournament director Craig Tiley doesn’t think any adjustments to the Australian Open schedule are necessary, despite Andy Murray’s night shift until four in the morning. “If you only have one game scheduled for the night and there’s an injury, you have nothing for the fans or for the TV stations,” Tiley told Nine TV: “At this point, there is no reason to change the schedule.”

At this year’s Australian Open, extreme heat and then heavy rain disrupted the competition schedule. Many appointments had to be postponed and made up for the next day.

Murray makes history against Kokkinaki’s Australian Open

Two-time Olympic champion Murray had only the 4:6, 6:7 (4:7), 7:6 (7:5), 6:3, 7-5 win over Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis made perfect. “It was ups and downs. There was frustration, there was tension, there was excitement, all of it,” Murray said, completely exhausted.

He had never been in the field longer before. The match was the second longest in Australian Open history. Just the final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in 2012 it was even longer, at five hours and 53 minutes.

“I don’t know who benefits,” Murray said afterwards. He added looking at the clock: “After a match like that, we come here and that’s the discussion.” It was “a little prank”.

Read also : Lucky Loser ends Zverev’s Grand Slam return

Murray is also concerned about the sleep of the children at the prom

The Scot also addressed the fact that it was too late for the ball kids. “If my kid was a ball kid at the tournament and came home at five o’clock, we would scold him as parents.”

Neither the spectators nor the referees and certainly not the players would benefit from late games, Murray pointed out: “We’ve been talking about it all the time, for years. If you start games in night session so late and there’s those conditions, then things like that happen.”

During the match, Murray had already complained about the lack of respect towards the referee chairman, not even being allowed to go to the bathroom given the circumstances of the match.


Andy Murray of Scotland gestures during his personal best second round match against Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia on January 19, 2023 at the Australian Open.

© USA TODAY Sports/Mike Frey/Reuters

Boris Becker does not consider the match schedule “reasonable”

In the Eurosport studios in Munich, the expert fought Boris Becker, himself a two-time Australian Open champion, on Murray’s side. “The question is whether it makes sense to play that long. It’s also a bit of a distortion of competition,” Becker said. “Murray wins here at five past four in the morning. Then there’s recovery and the press conference. He doesn’t come to the hotel until six or six-thirty – and he can’t even think of sleeping. “

Murray, however, Becker pointed out, “has always been an incredible fighter. After all these injuries, it’s amazing what Murray has still done here.” In the third round, Murray meets Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.

Andy Murray won’t let his hip replacement stop him

Former world number one Murray is 35 and had hip surgery in 2018 and 2019. He plays with an artificial hip joint and has repeatedly had to take long breaks in recent years due to related complaints . In early 2019, Murray announced his retirement from competitive sports, but never quite completed it.

Read also : Extended break for injured Rafael Nadal

“Crazy – no other sport does,” 18-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova wrote of Murray’s match against Kokkinakis and tweeted that tennis has “better rules” in terms of weather and Match start and end times should be found.

At Melbourne, the daytime schedule begins at 11:00 a.m., with the evening event featuring the best matches starting at 7:00 p.m. Tiley said two games are expected to be completed in the evening sessions between 7 p.m. and midnight. You don’t have “many options”, says Tiley, “we have to do the games in 14 days”. He also pointed out that the other Grand Slams won’t start earlier in the day with the matches either. However, he promised there would be an evaluation after the tournament.

Read also : The American celebrates too early in her game

Late end times for evening games also sparked discussion at Roland Garros last year. (sid/dpa/hau)

teaser image: © REUTERS/Hanah McKay

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