Andy Murray hits out at Wimbledon changes as Grand Slam announces new schedule
Andy Murray defeats Oscar Otte in five sets at Wimbledon
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Andy Murray has called on Wimbledon bosses to alter their newly announced schedule. The prestigious tournament announced a number of changes for 2022, including play on the Middle Sunday and an earlier mixed doubles final. The three-time Major champion has now urged officials to push back the mixed final.
Wimbledon organisers recently announced a series of changes to the 2022 edition of the tournament.
Among these are the new plans to get rid of the famous day off known as ‘Middle Sunday’ and spread round-of-16 action out over the Sunday and Monday.
The mixed doubles draw has also been decreased in size, with the final moved up by two days to the last Friday of the tournament, also known as men’s singles semi-final day.
Murray, a two e-time singles champion at the event, has now urged bosses to change their rescheduled mixed doubles final.
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The former world No 1, who himself was part of one of the most highly-anticipated mixed doubles pairings in recent history when he joined forces with 23-time Major champion Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2019, has called on the tournament to push the final back.
Murray believes this would entice more top singles and doubles players to enter the draw, boosting the star power and interest in the mixed doubles competition, which is exclusive to the four Grand Slams.
“I agree with the changes to mixed doubles making it a smaller draw but not moving final much earlier,” he wrote on Twitter, responding to the provisional new schedule for 2022 onwards.
“I think if it started later due to the shorter draw you could make the sign in on Friday afternoon and it finished on Saturday/Sunday it would encourage more top players to play”.
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Pushing back the final, and in turn the final sign-in date for players to enter the mixed doubles draw, is something Murray thinks will benefit the tournament in keeping in big names who may have lost in the earlier rounds of the singles draw.
He continued: “Top players who have lost early In singles would be more inclined to play mixed in this scenario I believe.
“Right now the sign in for mixed is on Wednesday morning I think..so only top singles players who have lost in the first round may decide to play.
“If you change that to Friday/Saturday sign in you increase that pool of players significantly. More top doubles players would play in this scenario too I think?”
The three-time Grand Slam champion lost in the third round of Wimbledon this year to 10th seed Denis Shapovalov.
With his loss coming on the Friday, Murray may have been able to stay in the tournament by signing up for the mixed-doubles draw with a female player who had also lost early in the singles or women’s doubles.
The 34-year-old has proven himself to be successful in the doubles, pairing with Feliciano Lopez to win the Queen’s title in his very first tournamwnt back after hip resurfacing surgery in 2019.
He then went to Wimbledon, partnering with five-time men’s doubles Grand Slam champion Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men’s event and, after losing early with the Frenchman, partnered with Serena Williams in the mixed doubles.
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