Andy Murray hits out at US Opens failure to properly enforce heat break rule


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Murray was beaten (Picture: TPN/Getty)

Andy Murray was unhappy with US Open officials inability to properly enforce rules during the 10-minute heat break, after his opponent Fernando Verdasco was caught in conversation with his coach during their match.

Due to the extreme heat conditions in New York, male players are permitted to leave the court for a 10-minute period after the third set – should the match be going beyond that stage – but are not supposed to converse with members of their team with the match still technically in session.

When Murray returned to court following the brief recess during his 5-7 6-2 4-6 4-6 defeat to the Spaniard, he complained to the umpire that Verdasco had been talking to his coach during the break.

Fernando Verdasco of Spain plays against Andy Murray of Great Britain during Day 3 of the 2018 US Open Men's Singles match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on August 29, 2018. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Verdasco was talking to his team (Picture: AFP/Getty)

And after the match, he expressed his annoyance that the rules werent strictly enforced by the tournament supervisors.

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Yeah, I went for a shower. He was having an ice bath, he said. When I came out of the shower, his coach and his – I dont know if hes playing doubles with him, but one of the Spanish doubles players was in there chatting to him, and youre not allowed to speak to your coach. I went and told the supervisor.

I said, “What are you guys doing? I mean, theres clear rules here and youre allowing this to take place. I dont get it”. Then he ran through, “Oh, youre not allowed to speak”.

I checked the rules beforehand, and I spoke to my team. We were clear you dont speak to your coaches whatever. They obviously werent in there for long, but you got to do better than that.

This is one of the biggest events in the world. If you have rules like that, you need to stick with them because one player getting to speak to the coach and the other not is not fair.

Andy Murray of Great Britain takes a break while playing Fernando Verdasco of Spain during Day 3 of the 2018 US Open Men's Singles match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on August 29, 2018. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Murray was feeling the heat (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Im not blaming Fernando and his team. They probably werent aware that that was the rules. They certainly werent trying to break any rules.

It shouldnt be for the player thats competing against him to have to go to the supervisor. If I hadnt said anything, they would have been chatting, chatting about the match, giving tactics and stuff.

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I shouldnt be in that position in the middle of a match at a Slam having to make sure theyre doing their job.

The Scot admitted he still wasnt exactly sure of all the finer details behind the rule, which is not a regular fixture on the tour.

My coach went to ask somebody from the tournament what the exact rules were, and we got basically a sheet which gave us the exact rules, he added.

Aug 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Andy Murray of the United Kingdom hits to Fernando Verdasco of Spain in a second round match on day three of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Murray went out (Picture: USA TODAY Sports)

Theres not like clear definitions. I was asking, “Am I allowed to look at my phone?” Theres nothing in there about that. It said youre not allowed to get treatment, like, from the trainers. Youre not allowed to speak to your coaches and stuff.

But Id asked if I could look at my phone, because its the first time weve ever done that. This never happened to me before. Just wanted to have, like, a clear protocol for what I was going to do in the 10 minutes. Said, you cant look at your phone.

They were supposed to print something off for me, for my team, that I could then look at, which I didnt get. It wasnt a big deal. I was planning on having a cold shower, drinking a little bit and changing. It goes pretty quick when you do that. Not easy to get changed and showered, get some fluids down you in the 10 minutes from when you finished.


We didnt leave the court immediately either. Yeah, something new. But on centre court, like I said, it wasnt actually too bad. The actual heat, it was humid, but the heat was actually all right.

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