Andy Murray - US Open 2022

Andy Murray claims late Grand Slam finishes are ‘clearly wrong’ and ‘purely financial’

Andy Murray has slammed Grand Slam tournaments for their late night finishes, as he provided an update on his fitness status ahead of the US Open after withdrawing from tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati with an ab injury.

Murray has been one of the players particularly affected by late finishes, which was highlighted at the Australian Open earlier this year when his second round match finished at 4:05am.

At the US Open, night sessions begin no earlier than 7pm and have two scheduled matches taking place on both Arthur Ashe Stadium and the Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Last year, this resulted in the latest ever finish in New York with Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner’s five-set quarter-final being completed at 2:50am.

Andy Murray believes these situations need to stop, “It’s just not good for anyone. Often when the players complain about that stuff, you sort of hear like: ‘Oh, shut up and get on with it.’ Like, you know: ‘Try working, I don’t know, in a warehouse from nine to five.’

He continued, “And I do get that. I know I’m fortunate to be playing tennis. Tennis is also partly entertainment. I don’t think it helps the sport that much when everyone’s leaving because they have to go and get public transport home and you finish a match like that in front of like 10% of the crowd. You don’t see it in other sports so it’s clearly wrong.

“And the reason for it is purely financial. It’s not because the people that are running the events believe that it’s good for the sport. It’s a financial reason for why they’re doing it. And yeah, they could solve it if they want to start at 7:30, if they want to play two women’s matches, that time is fine. Or if they want to play a men’s match, then you can only play one match unless you’re going to start sooner.”

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that has a specific curfew time of 11pm, which affected Murray’s second round match with Stefanos Tsitsipas this year where he ended the evening two-sets-to-one up before losing in five sets the following day.

The three-time major winner has suggested this needs to be altered as well, “Wimbledon, they obviously need to change the start times of the matches and move it sooner. Stop having the 20 minute breaks between the matches.”

There have been some concerns for Murray’s US Open participation, after he withdrew from his third round match at the Canadian Open with an ab strain and then subsequently pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters.

However, he has provided a positive update, “I had a small tear which is healing and the last five or six days of practice have been really good, I have not had any issues serving. It is just obviously that you don’t take a week off from serving then go full into it. You need to build up a little bit. It has not been perfect in that sense but my ab has been ok.”

Andy Murray will begin his 17th US Open campaign on Tuesday against Corentin Moutet, as he avoids the night session for his opening encounter.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.