(CNN) – Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray says he “lost respect” for Stefanos Tsitsipas, after the Greek, world No. 3, took multiple extended breaks at crucial moments during his US Open first-round match. .
The pair battled for more than four and a half hours in a five-set thriller, with Tsitsipas ultimately prevailing 2-6 7-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 to advance to the second round at Flushing Meadows.
However, Murray was disappointed in the amount of time his opponent spent off the court; Tsitsipas took two bathroom breaks of more than seven minutes and also received a medical break.
“It’s just disappointing because I feel like it influenced the outcome of the game,” Murray said after the game. “I’m not saying that I necessarily won that game, sure, but it did influence what happened after those breaks.
“I highlight him a lot. I think he’s a brilliant player. I think he’s great for the game, but I don’t have time for those things and I lost respect for him.”
Tsitsipas, who did not break any rules, took long bathroom breaks at the end of the second and fourth sets and received a medical timeout for an apparent foot injury before the fourth set.
Murray could be heard complaining to chair umpire Nico Helwerth and US Open match supervisor Gerry Armstrong about the amount of time Tsitsipas was taking.
The Scotsman said he told his team before the game to “expect” that from his opponent “if things don’t go his way” and revealed that there have been discussions about changing the rules to prevent such prolonged stoppages from happening.
“Ultimately, they [los jueces] They can’t do anything because the rules are there, “Murray said.” But I’m on the players’ council and we talk about it all the time, about changing these rules, trying to make it less easy to exploit the rules, I guess.
“Some suggestions are that if you take a doctor time off or a break before, say, my serve, you lose the game. Start the set with a point in favor. That’s something that has been discussed. A couple of other things are , like, you have two five-minute breaks during a game or something, and that’s it. There are several different suggestions out there.
“That’s how I feel, but if everyone else feels like it’s totally cool and there’s no problem with that, then maybe I’m the one being unreasonable, but I think it’s silly, and he knows it too.”
After the game, Tsitsipas insisted that he had done nothing wrong and had no problems with Murray.
“If there is something you have to tell me, we should both talk to understand what went wrong,” he told reporters. “I don’t think I broke any rules. I played by the guidelines, how’s everything. Yeah, it’s definitely something for the two of us to chat and make sure.
“I don’t know how my opponent feels when I’m playing the game. It’s not really my priority. As far as 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. “
Tsitsipas, who is seeking his first Grand Slam title, went on to explain why he took so long during those breaks to go to the bathroom.
“Well, I think it is clear that I took the clothes when I left the court,” he said. “That’s the amount of time it takes for me to change my clothes and walking back to the court takes a little time.
“I don’t know what the rule is regarding that, if there is one. But, as far as I know, you can have two bathroom breaks to change clothes in a five-set game and one in a three-set game. .
“I followed that my entire career. I’ve never broken any rules, so I don’t see any reason why that’s a problem anyway.”
On the other hand, defending women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka managed to overcome her first round match with a straight sets victory over Marie Bouzkova.
In her first grand slam appearance since withdrawing from the French Open in June, Osaka was pressured hard in the first set by her Czech opponent, before comfortably closing the match 6-4 6-1 to advance to the second. round.