Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other
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Andy Murray doubled down on his criticism of Stefanos Tsitsipas after going down in five sets to the Greek in the opening round of the US Open. The Briton was visibly furious during the fifth set of their encounter in New York, after Tsitsipas had taken an eight-minute toilet break between the fourth and fifth sets, in what Murray viewed as an attempt to disrupt his momentum ahead of the decisive set.
Tsitsipas came in for criticism from Murray during the 34-year-old’s post-match press conference, and Murray has now taken to Twitter to aim another barb at his rival.
Murray wrote: “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.”
His tweet comes after comments made during the fifth set of their heated clash, when the 2012 US Open champion slammed his opponent for taking a lengthy bathroom break.
The world No.112 said Tsitsipas was “cheating” continued to rant to ATP Supervisor Gerry Armstrong, who was sat court-side, saying: “The toilet is right there, what’s he doing? It’s never once taken me that long to go to the toilet, ever. And it’s right there.”
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Tsitsipas was able to break Murray’s serve in the opening game of the final set following his eight minutes off-court, which proved decisive as the Greek ultimately sealed a 2-6 7-6(7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory.
Former world No.1 Murray continued to voice his frustration at the conclusion of the match, shaking his head following a handshake at the net with his opponent, and branding the incident a “f***ing joke”.
He then let rip in his press conference, saying he didn’t think it was a “coincidence” that Tsitsipas took his lengthy breaks at such crucial points in the match.
“It’s not so much leaving the court. It’s the amount of time,” he said.
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“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. So I was trying to do that.”
The three-time Grand Slam champion believed the eight-minute bathroom break influenced the result, having clawed his way back from 0-5 down in the fourth set before losing it 3-6.
He said: “The issue is that you cannot stop the way that that affects you physically. When you’re playing a brutal match like that, you know, 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.”
He also noted that, after he won the third set, Tsitsipas took a medical timeout and later and stopped a game briefly to change his racket when the Brit was 0-30 up on his serve in the fourth.
“I can’t be coincidence that it’s happening at those moments,” Murray continued.
“I don’t believe it was causing him any issue at all. The match went on for another two and a bit hours after that or something. He was fine, moving great I thought.
“Yeah, it’s just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match. I’m not saying I necessarily win that match, for sure, but it had influence on what was happening after those breaks.
I rate him a lot. I think he’s a brilliant player. I think he’s great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff at all, and I lost respect for him.”
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