tennis

Murray Upset Over US Open Bathroom Breaks

September 03, 2021

- Grant Whittington

Using the bathroom is a basic human need and right, whether you are in the middle of the biggest tennis match of your life or not. There is a debate currently unfolding in the world of tennis as to what amount of time is considered an appropriate bathroom break.

In a recent game at the U.S Open Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas spent some time bickering over how long on average a bathroom break should be whilst a game is being played.

How It All Unfolded

On Tuesday at Flushing Meadows an intense conversation arose between Murray and the umpire as Tsitsipas proceeded to take 8 minutes during his allotted bathroom break. Murray questioned the umpire about what his opinion was and asked him if he thought this was good. Tsitsipas had left the court and paused the game to change his outfit and use the rest room.

Murray has been quite vocal on his support of a change in the rules regarding this unclear and rather vague ruling. According to Article I, Section W, Paragraph 4 of the 2021 Grand Slam rule book women are only allowed one trip off the court in the best of three sets. Men are allowed two trips in the best of five sets. The actual ruling describes the toilet break as: “reasonable time for a toilet break, a change of attire break, or both.”

On this hot and sweaty Tuesday, the humidity was at 70%. Both of the players were sweaty and needed an outfit change, Murray changed his shirt on his changeover bench. He felt that Tsitsipas taking his unnecessarily elongated break warranted a legitimate time violation citation. The umpire let Tsitsipas off with a warning instead.

The lengthy pause caused Murray to feel distracted, he later complained that he felt the break had caused him to cool down, which led to some physical issues for him for the remainder of the game.

Murray Isn’t Alone

Even though the ATP men’s tour has said that they are revaluating the vague toilet rule, there are other players that share Murray’s frustration. Eighteen time champion Chris Evert feels that eight to ten minutes in the restroom is enough time for the player to make a phone call, read a text, reset himself and open the door to many things that might be unfair to the game.

Tsitsipas isn’t the only one being accused of lengthy bathroom breaks. On Monday, John Isner also left the court for a total of 7 minutes in his game to Brandon Nakashima. Number twenty two seed Riley Opelka reckons that this is normal and shouldn’t be frowned upon. He says when they go to the bathroom, there are several things they have to do when they are changing and hydrating.

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