Australian Open boss hits back over ugly Andy Murray debacle

Craig Tiley has hit back at calls for change at this year's Australian Open.

Australian Open boss Craig Tiley (pictured left) speaking and (pictured right) Andy Murray frustrated.
Australian Open boss Craig Tiley (pictured left) has hit back at critics and said the schedule won't change for the Australian Open this year, despite criticism over Andy Murray's 4am finish. (Getty Images)

Australian Open boss Craig Tiley has hit back at the growing concerns for the night session to be rescheduled after Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis finished their epic round 2 match at 4.05am. Murray was less than impressed with the finish in the early hours of the morning, which saw the match run for five hours 45 minutes - the second longest in Australian Open history

Murray also wanted a bathroom break in the fourth set and became perturbed he couldn't take one because of the rules, which he labelled a 'joke'. "It is a joke and you know it as well," Murray said of the situation.

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"It's disrespectful to you, it's disrespectful to the ball children and disrespectful to the players," Murray said of the situation. After the match, Murray let rip at the scheduling and said it wasn't just the players that were impacted.

However, Tiley addressed the player concerns on Friday and ruled out any change to the scheduling for the remainder of the tournament. "At this point, there's no need to alter the schedule," he told the Nine Network.

"We will always look at it when we do the (post-tournament) debrief, like we do every year. But at this point ... we've got to fit those matches in the 14 days so you don't have many options.

"Over the last three days, we've had extreme heat, over five breaks of rain, we've had cold ... we've had three late nights with scheduling to try and catch up with matches."

Andy Murray defends ball kids in Australian Open farce

Murray used the example of the ball kids in the Australian Open to show just how unfair a late finish is on them. There has been calls for Australian Open ball kids to be paid for their work. Children working at the grand slam were previously paid, until they were re-classified as volunteers in 2008.

Murray was critical of the scheduling, saying not only were the ball kids and players left at a disadvantage, it was hardly a positive for fans and officials either. Fans set up a GoFundMe page for the ball kids as the Murray-Kokkinakis match was nearing an end, while the record prize pool for the 2023 tournament has also lead to growing calls for ball kids to be compensated. Many were sympathetic to the kids on court as the five-set epic continued on.

Andy Murray (pictured) hits a backhand at the Australian Open.
Andy Murray (pictured) spent nearly six hours on court in his win over Thanasi Kokkinakis. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

“I don’t know who (the 10pm start is) beneficial for. We come here (to a press conference) after the match, and that’s what discussion is. Rather than it being like epic Murray-Kokkinakis match, it ends in a bit of a farce,” Murray said.

“Amazingly people stayed until the end. I really appreciate people doing that, creating an atmosphere for us at the end. I really appreciate that. Some people need to work the following day and everything.

“If my child was a ball kid for a tournament, they’re coming home at 5am 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.

“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.”

with AAP

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