Andy Murray vs Stefanos Tsitsipas US Open row lauded for ‘heating things up’ in tennis

Dominic Thiem defeats Alexander Zverev in US Open final

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Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas’ US Open feud has been branded “great for tennis” by last year’s champion, Dominic Thiem. The Austrian is unable to defend his title this year after cutting his season short due to a wrist injury, but has been helping out with Tennis Channel’s coverage of the Grand Slam. Murray said that a lengthy bathroom break taken by the third seed during their round one clash “changed the outcome” of the match and has since taken to Twitter to swipe at the Greek.

Murray accused Tsitsipas of “cheating” during their blockbuster opening round on Monday, August 30 after the world No 3 left the court at the conclusion of the fourth set, and took an eight-minute bathroom break.

The 2012 US Open champion was visibly furious throughout the final set when the Greek returned, and when the pair shook hands at the net when Tsitsipas completed a comeback victory, Murray shook his head and called the toilet break incident a “f****** joke” as he returned to his bench following his defeat.

The following day, the current world No 112 took to Twitter to take another swipe at his rival, tweeting: “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.”

While Murray has come under fire for his reaction to the Greek’s lengthy break, the defending US Open champion has backed the former world No 1 and remarked that the controversy was a positive thing for the sport.

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“First of all it was a hell of a match,” Thiem said.

“Great for tennis. It’s also nice that things are heating up from time to time.”

While the world No 6 thought the mid-match breaks were essential in New York, a view also shared by Reilly Opelka, last year’s champion in Flushing Meadows agreed with Murray that a time limit was needed.

He continued: “But I saw most of the match and can totally understand Andy. But my point of view is that, especially with the conditions of New York, you need to go out in a five setter at least twice because you just need to change your pants.

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“There’s no way around that, especially if you sweat that much. But there should be a time limit to that because if you go out to change all your clothes, it doesn’t take long, three or four minutes, maximum five, so there should be a time limit on that.”

Although he was prepared for the third seed to disrupt his momentum, Murray pointed out that the lengthy time out had an affect on his body and the outcome of the match.

“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,” he said.

He said: “I heard Andy’s press conference and he was right. It just cools down your body and you are getting stiff and it is not easy at all.”

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