By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – How long is too long to take in the bathroom? Believe it or not, it’s a real debate at the US Open, thanks to a fight between Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas over the toilet rule in tennis.
Article I, section W, paragraph 4 of the 2021 Grand Slam regulations limits women (who play in the best of three sets) to one movement off the field and men (to the best of five) to two movements âfor a period of time. reasonable for a grooming break, an outfit change break, or both.
The discussion at, um, Flush-ing Meadows on Tuesday revolved around whether it was “reasonable” for the game to be delayed by more than eight minutes because Tsitsipas took his time while swapping his sweaty outfit. against a news between the fourth and fifth sets of a nearly five-hour victory over Murray a day earlier.
“What is your opinion on that? You referee the match,” we heard the match official, three-time Grand Slam champion Murray, say. “Give me your opinion. … Do you think it’s good?
Murray, who traded shirts as he sat on his change bench ahead of the final set, is among those who have argued for some sort of rule change.
Put a specific time limit in writing, say. Or have stronger consequences than the mere warning Tsitsipas received from the chair umpire for a time violation on Monday, when he and Murray were both drenched in 70% humidity and heat in the low 80s. Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).
âIt’s so vague. Another vague rule in tennis. And I think that’s what Andy was complaining about, â18-time Major Champion Chris Evert said on ESPN’s TV show Tuesday. “Let me tell you, eight to ten minutes gives the player time to sit down with themselves, figure out what to do, reset if they need to, dig into their bag and receive a phone call. in his bag and read a text. It opens the door to a lot of things that may not be right in tennis.
If Tsitsipas’ goal was the art of playing, it worked.
Murray lost his focus and, he later explained, the long hiatus from the game cooled him down, causing physical problems for a 34-year-old guy with an artificial hip.
On the court, Murray used the word âcheatingâ. in June and is seeded No.3 in New York.
Murray didn’t let go on Tuesday either. Instead, he stirred the pot by posting a photo via Twitter, filled with emojis of a toilet and a rocket: âDone of the day. It takes Stefanos (Tsitsipas) twice as long to use the bathroom as it does for Jeff (Bezos) to fly in space. Interesting.”
This isn’t the first time the issue has arisen with Tsitsipas – or other players. Just an example from Monday: No.19 seed John Isner left the field for what amounted to a more than seven-minute break between points after the second set of that three-set loss to Brandon Nakashima in a all-American game on Monday.
Just over a week ago, Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev accused Tsitsipas of getting help via phone messages from his father, who is also his trainer, on a long trip. in the bathroom during their semi-final at the Cincinnati Masters. Training is not allowed during matches.
âHe’s been gone for over 10 minutes. Her father is texting the phone. He comes out, and all of a sudden his tactics have completely changed. It’s not just me, but everyone has seen it. The whole game plan is changing, âsaid No. 4 seed Zverev after his victory on Tuesday. “I say to myself: Either this is a very magical place he goes, or there is communication there.”
Zverev said he sees what Tsitsipas does as the “kind of thing (that) happens at Junior events, Futures, Challengers maybe, but not when you’re in the top three in the world. You are in the top three in the world. are allowed to do so, but it’s like an unwritten rule between players. “
Tsitsipas and Isner had their defenders.
” We drink. We hydrate a lot. We have to use the bathroom. To change my socks, shoes, inserts in my shoes, shorts, shirt, everything, nine yards, hat – it takes five, six minutes, âsaid No.22 seed Reilly Opelka of the United States after reached the second round with a victory on Tuesday. “Then by the time I get to and from court …”
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