Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury finished their doubles match against Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock just before 1am; speaking about late match finishes Murray said: “It’s something that tennis needs to sort of have a bit of a think about. I don’t think it looks that professional.”
Andy Murray believes tennis needs to address the growing number of late-night match finishes within the elite game.
At the Davis Cup group stage on Wednesday, Murray and his Great Britain Davis Cup team-mate Joe Salisbury took court after 10pm for a decisive doubles match against Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock.
Great Britain lost the match, which did not finish until just before 1am with many fans unable to stay due to no public transport options being available at that time and work or school commitments to consider.
Matches ending in the early hours of the morning are now pretty regular features in elite-level tennis.
At the recent US Open, the eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz’s semi-final against Jannik Sinner’s ended at 2:50am and set a new record for the latest finish at Flushing Meadows. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s French Open quarter-final lasted four hours and 12 minutes, with the two men coming off court at around 1:15am.
Andy Murray believes erasing these types of finishes from the elite game would be beneficial.
“Look, it would be better if they were earlier, I think for everyone involved,” Murray said in a press conference that took place around 1:30am in the morning.
“I don’t think it’s ideal for the fans. There’s probably half of the people in there at the end of the match that were there at the beginning. It’s a bit of a shame because, well, they missed a great match.
“It’s not probably because they didn’t want to stay. If you’ve got children here, you can’t stay with them.”
At the Abierto Mexicano tournament in February this year, Alexander Zverev completed his victory over Jenson Brooksby at 4.55am local time after a three-hour and 19-minute match.
Back in Glasgow, Murray said he was thinking about the welfare of the individuals that support the players, the athletes and the impact such a late finish would have on a competition’s schedule.
He said: “For the ballkids and things like that, it’s inappropriate. Yeah, the players are still able to go out and compete. But it’s not ideal for the US team to come back and play tomorrow… It’s not ideal.
“It’s not just here, obviously. We’ve seen it at the US Open even just last week. It’s something that tennis needs to sort of have a bit of a think about. I don’t think it looks that professional.”
Great Britain’s Davis Cup group stage campaign continues on Friday, the team are in Group D alongside the Netherlands, United States and Kazakhstan.
They now face the Netherlands on Friday and Kazakhstan on Sunday, with two teams progressing from each group into the finals which are taking place in Malaga in November.
The Netherlands’ team includes world No 22 Botic van de Zandschlup and the doubles partner of Brit Neal Skupski, Wesley Koolhof. Alexander Bublik, the world No 47, is the highest singles ranked played within Kazakhstan’s team.
Great Britain vs Netherlands – Friday
Great Britain Netherlands
Captain: Leon Smith Captain: Paul Haarhuis
Cam Norrie Botic van de Zandschlup
Dan Evans Tallon Griekspoor
Andy Murray Tim van Rijthoven
Joe Salisbury Wesley Koolhof
Neal Skupski Matwe Middelkoop
Captain Leon Smith described has described his British team as “battered and bruised” but knows despite their loss to the United States, they remain in a good position.
“It’s still going to be tough because the other two nations are strong,” Smith said. “We said that before this tie. I think a lot of the matches are 50/50, including the ones that are coming up.
“All the guys played really good matches, so it will take a lot of recovery. It’s obviously good that we’ve got a day’s grace before our next match.
“We’ve got a terrific bunch of players. They’re playing really well. So our aim is to qualify. It will start again on Friday.”