Andy Murray 'Lost Respect' for Stefanos Tsitsipas over Long Breaks at 2021 U.S. Open

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 31, 2021

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas (L) shakes hands with Britain's Andy Murray after winning their 2021 US Open Tennis tournament men's singles first round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, on August 30, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Andy Murray took particular exception to what he thought were stalling tactics Stefanos Tsitsipas during their encounter at the U.S. Open on Monday.

"I think he's a brilliant player," Murray told reporters after his five-set defeat. "I think he's great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff at all, and I lost respect for him."

Tsitsipas had a medical timeout following the third set for an apparent foot injury, then took a bathroom break between the fourth and fifth frames. During the fifth set, Murray expressed his frustration at how long the Greek star had remained in the locker room.

The three-time Grand Slam champion explained he "spoke to my team before the match about it and said to expect that, prepare for it if things were not going his way." He also asserted Tsitsipas may have exaggerated the extent of his foot injury because he "was fine, moving great I thought" for the remainder of the match.

Jill Martin @ByJillMartin

Andy Murray on Stefanos Tsitsipas leaving the court: <a href="https://t.co/6QJ3PAUWqa">pic.twitter.com/6QJ3PAUWqa</a>

For his part, Tsitsipas denied he was doing anything untoward:

Reem Abulleil @ReemAbulleil

Tsitsipas: I don't know how my opponent feels when I'm out there playing the match. It's not really my priority. As far as I'm playing by the rules and sticking to what the ATP says is fair, then the rest is fine.

This comes after Alexander Zverev lodged a similar complaint during the Western & Southern Open, where he played Tsitsipas in the semifinals and won in three sets.

Tsitsipas walked back to the locker room with his equipment bag, which led Zverev to imply his opponent may have been receiving mid-match coaching. He also complained to the chair umpire it "was the same thing in Paris and is going to be the same thing every other tournament he's playing."

Murray stopped short of claiming Tsitsipas violated the rules against players getting coached in the middle of matches. Still, the matter clearly rankled him to a noticeable degree.

Now, it will be Adrian Mannarino's problem to sort out. Mannarino and Tsitsipas are scheduled to play Wednesday in the second round.