The pair fought for over four and a half hours in a five-set thriller, with Tsitsipas eventually winning 2-6 7-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 to advance to the second round at Flushing Pres.
However, Murray was disappointed with the time his opponent was spending off the court; Tsitsipas took two toilet breaks of over seven minutes and also received a medical timeout.
“It’s just disappointing because I think it influenced the outcome of the game,” Murray said after the game. “I’m not saying that I necessarily win this game, that’s for sure, but it had an influence on what happened 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 no time for that sort of thing and I’ve lost respect for him.”
Tsitsipas, who didn’t break any rules, took long toilet breaks at the end of the second and fourth sets and was awarded a time-out for an apparent foot injury before the fourth set.
Murray could be heard complaining to presidential referee Nico Helwerth and US Open game supervisor Gerry Armstrong about the time it was taking Tsitsipas.
The Scot said he told his side ahead of the match to ‘expect’ his opponent ‘if things don’t go as they should’ and revealed there had been discussions about changing the rules to prevent these long shutdowns from happening.
“In the end, they [the officials] I 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 harder to exploit the rules. , I imagine.
“Some of the suggestions are if you take a medical time out or a break before, say, my serve, that you lose the game. I’m just starting the one love up set. That’s something that has kind of been discussed. other things are, like, you get two five minute breaks during a game or something – and that’s it.There are different suggestions that are available.
“That’s how I feel, but if everyone feels like it’s totally cool and there’s nothing wrong with it, then maybe I’m the unreasonable one, but I think that’s nonsense – and he knows it too. “
Murray was clearly still feeling jovial despite the loss, tweeting: “Fact of the day. Stefanos Tsitipas takes twice as long to use the bathroom as Jeff Bazos takes to fly in space. Interesting.”
After the game, Tsitsipas insisted he hadn’t done anything wrong and had no resentment towards Murray.
“If he has something to tell me, we should both talk to somehow understand what went wrong,” he told reporters. “I don’t think I broke the rules. I stuck to the guidelines, how everything is going. Yes, that’s definitely something we both can discuss and make sure of.
“I don’t know how my opponent feels when I play the game. It’s not really my priority. As long as I play by the rules and stick to what ATP says is fair, then the rest is fine. I have nothing against him. Absolutely nothing.
Tsitsipas, who is chasing his first Grand Slam title, went on to explain why he took so long during those bathroom breaks.
“Well I think it’s clear that I took my clothes with me when I left the pitch,” he said. “It’s the time it takes for me to change my clothes and get back to court takes a little while.
“I don’t know what the rule is about this, if there is one. But, as far as I know, you are allowed to have two bathroom breaks to get changed in a five-set and one. in a three- setter.
“I’ve followed this throughout my career. I’ve never broken any rules, so I don’t see any reason for this to be a problem anyway.”
Elsewhere, defending women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka eased her first-round match with a straight-set victory over Marie Bouzkova.
In her first Grand Slam appearance since retiring from Roland Garros in June, Osaka was pushed hard in the first set by her Czech opponent, before closing the game comfortably 6-4 6-1 to advance to the second round.
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