Former World No. 1 Andy Murray has been one of the most candid and blunt tennis players on the Tour in the past couple of decades with the Brit not afraid to call out his colleagues, the tournament officials or any other person on issues that he does not share a similar viewpoint and aims at keeping his stance very clear on various topics.
The 3-time Grand Slam champion has often found himself in unnecessary controversies because of this but that has not stopped him from being frank and honest about the subject. Murray has however been praised as well for this particular trait of his where he has not hidden behind politically correct and diplomatic statements to escape from the situations, a tactic many other Tour players often use to stay away from debates and drama.
“I went for a shower, he was having an ice bath,”: Andy Murray
One such incident where Murray’s self-righteous behaviour was on display occurred at the 2018 US Open where the Brit was returning after a hip surgery and a small hiatus in 2017. Murray entered the tournament through protected ranking and defeated James Duckworth in 4-sets to mark a winning return to Grand Slam action post his surgery. In the second round, he took on Fernando Verdasco and went down fighting in 4-sets but not without some drama and controversy.
With the temperatures soaring above 95 degrees (33 Celsius) in New York, for the first time, men’s events were also halted for a heat break during the match. Murray and Verdasco proceeded to the washrooms for freshening after playing in the scorching heat and as per Murray, he spotted the Spaniard receiving instructions from one of his compatriots and despite Murray’s complaints, no action was taken against Fernando.
“I went for a shower. He was having an ice bath. When I came out of the shower … one of the Spanish doubles players was in there chatting to him, and you’re not allowed to speak to your coach. I went and told the supervisor. I said, ‘What are you guys doing? I mean, there are clear rules here and you’re allowing this to take place. I don’t get it. 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.
“I shouldn’t be in that position, in the middle of a match at a Slam, having to make sure they’re doing their job. The players and teams should know. I’m not blaming Fernando and his team. They probably weren’t aware that that was the rules. They certainly weren’t trying to break any rules. It shouldn’t be for the player that’s competing against him to have to go to the supervisor. If I hadn’t said anything, they would have been chatting, chatting about the match, giving tactics and stuff,” told Murray in his post-match press conference.
Verdasco turned down the accusations immediately and said, “I didn’t talk one word with my coach or any one member of my team. I know exactly the rule, and I don’t want to be the one breaking it.” While the Spaniard lost in the third round to Juan Martin del Potro, Murray remained quite angry about how things played out and even made the Grand Slam officials re-think their communication policies to players in a rare situation like the heat break that was taken during the match between Andy and Fernando.