Two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray was left fuming during his second-round match at the Australian Open after the chair umpire denied his request to use the restroom more than four hours into the contest.
“It’s a joke,” Murray lamented.
The explosive moment came in the fourth set of his grueling match against Australia’s own Thanasi Kokkinakis. The players had been battling it out into the early morning hours when at around 3 a.m. local time, Murray requested to leave the court.
The only problem? He had already left the court twice, which is the max allowed by the ATP in a five-set match.
“You know something, I respect the rule. It’s so disrespectful that the tournament has us out here until 3, f—ing 4 o’clock in the morning and we’re not allowed to go take a p—,” Murray lashed out at chair umpire Eva Asderaki-Moore.
“It’s a joke. It is a joke and you know it as well. It’s disrespectful. It’s disrespectful to you. It’s disrespectful to the ball children. It’s disrespectful to players. And we’re not allowed to go to the toilet – ridiculous.”
Murray went on to win the match after dropping the first two sets, finishing in five hours and 45 minutes – just six minutes shy of the longest match in tournament history.
“If my child was a ball kid for a tournament, they’re coming home at 5 in the morning – as a parent, I’m snapping at that. It’s not beneficial for them. It’s not beneficial for the umpires, the officials. I don’t think it’s amazing for the fans. It’s not good for the players,” Murray said.
“So, yeah, we talk about it all the time. It’s been spoken about for years. When you start the night matches late, and have conditions like that, these things are going to happen.”
Despite the protest, Tennis Australia director Craig Tiley said the tournament does not plan to make any changes.
“At this point, there is no need to alter the schedule.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.