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Andy Murray battled to a devastating five-set loss in his opening match of the US Open, but has let rip at World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas over his antics in an explosive post-match press conference.
Murray showed his legendary fighting spirit after pushing the in-form World No.3 to a fifth set in the opening round of the US Open before losing 2-6, 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
'NEVER SEEN WORSE': Fans rage after 'awful' scenes rock US Open
But, Murray and fans in the arena became perturbed when Tsitsipas started to hold up play between sets and games.
Having been accused of taking extra long breaks in the past, Tsitsipas took a couple of toilet breaks in between sets and games against the Scot.
Murray became incensed, while Tsitsipas was off-court, and accused the World No.3 of taking way too long to delay his momentum.
This prompted a number of fiery outbursts from the Scot, which even prompted reports Murray had accused Tsitsipas of 'cheating'.
Sounded like Murray was pretty clearly accusing Tsitsipas of getting coaching and cheating after he got broken to open the fifth set following Tsitsipas' long off-court break... #USOpen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 30, 2021
However, Murray doubled down in an explosive post-match interview when he said Tsitsipas' antics affected the match.
"It's just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match," Murray said.
"I'm not saying I necessarily win that match for sure but it had influence on what was happening after those breaks."
"The issue is that you cannot stop the way that that affects you physically," Murray added.
"When you're playing a brutal match like that, you know, stopping for seven, eight minutes, you do cool down. You can prepare for it mentally as much as you like, but it's the fact that it does affect you physically when you take a break that long, well, multiple times during the match.
"I think when he took the medical timeout, it was just after I had won the third set. Also in the fourth set when I had Love-30, he chose to go — I don't know if he changed his racquet or what he was doing.
"But, yeah, it can't be coincidence that it's happening at those moments.
"I don't believe [his foot] was causing him any issue at all. The match went on for another two and a bit hours after that or something. He was fine, moving great I thought."
Stefanos Tsitsipas hits back at 'cheating' accusations
Following Murray's press conference, Tsitsipas defended himself against the accusations he had taken the breaks to disrupt Murray's momentum.
"I don't think I broke any rules," he said.
"I played by the guidelines, how everything is. Yeah, definitely something for both of us to kind of chat about and make sure. I don't know how my opponent feels when I'm out there playing the match. It's not really my priority.
"As far as I'm playing by the rules and sticking to what the ATP says is fair, then the rest is fine."
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 31, 2021
However, it didn't stop Murray going as far to claim he had lost respect for the World No.3.
"I think he's a brilliant player. I think he's great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff at all, and I lost respect for him," he said.
"Look, I'll speak to my team about it. I'll listen to what, I don't know, fans, players, and everything are saying about it," Murray added towards the end.
"But, yeah, right now sitting here I feel like it's nonsense and they need to make a change because it's not good for the sport, it's not good for TV, it's not good for fans."
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