Andy Murray claims he “lost respect” for third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas after a tense US Open encounter in which the British player accused his opponent of “cheating” by taking long restroom breaks.
Murray was irritated by the Greek’s eight-minute bathroom break before the fifth set of their first-round match.
“That irritates me because it sounds like sour grapes because you’ve lost a match,” the three-time Grand Slam champion added.
Tsitsipas, who did not break any rules, also took a bathroom break at the conclusion of the second set and a medical time-out before the fourth set for treatment of a foot ailment.
Murray, 34, could be heard ranting towards his box during the final set, after he was emphatically broken in the opening game: “It is cheating.”
He also expressed his displeasure with Tsitsipas’s length of time with chair umpire Nico Helwerth and US Open match supervisor Gerry Armstrong.
Murray told Armstrong, “I’ve never taken so long to go to the bathroom.”
Tsitsipas later stated that he had followed the rules perfectly throughout his career.
In a five-set match, players are allowed two pauses for restroom and clothing changes, with breaks only allowed at the end of each set.
Grand Slam rules stipulate that “a player may seek permission to leave the court at a reasonable time for a restroom break.”
Long breaks in such a “brutal” match, Murray said, can be physically damaging to players, and he urged the rules to be modified “because it’s not good for the sport, it’s not good for TV, it’s not good for spectators.”
“It happens every single time before my serve, too.” He also chose to go in the fourth set when I was down 0-30, and I believe he changed his racquet, “the former world number one continued.
“It can’t be that it’s happening at those times by chance.”
“I hold him in high regard. He’s a fantastic player, in my opinion. He’s a fantastic fit for the game, in my opinion. But I don’t have time for that, and I’ve lost respect for him.