Andy Murray called for changes in the way tennis is run after finally coming through his rain-hit US Open fourth-round clash with Donald Young.
The match, which the fourth seed won 6-2 6-3 6-3, had originally been due to be played on Tuesday but rain washed out the entire day and only three games were possible as the weather again intervened on Wednesday. That 15 minutes of play turned out to be the most controversial of the tournament, though, with Murray, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick all demanding to see tournament referee Brian Earley after being forced to play in what they deemed unsafe conditions.
The US Open has been particularly hard hit by bad weather in recent years, with the men’s final being delayed until Monday for the last three years, and that remains a distinct possibility this time. The scheduling, with the first round held over three days, the different halves of the draw not playing on the same day and the semi-finals being held the day before the final, makes rain in the second week a huge problem.
Murray, who next faces John Isner, believes the players do not have a big enough voice at the grand slams, which are run by the International Tennis Federation rather than the ATP or WTA and where commercial and television interests are at their most persuasive.
He said: “Because we have the ATP and the ITF, and they don’t like each other very much, there’s always going to be some issues with Davis Cup, the schedule, the grand slams, and things like what happened yesterday. The difference is that for at the ATP tournaments, we have ATP representatives, we have an ATP Tour manager, ATP referees, so they’re there looking out for the players.
“Here we have an ATP Tour manager, who was in the locker room with us beforehand yesterday, and he was saying, ‘It’s still raining out there guys. You shouldn’t go out and play.’ And then the referees here, it’s different. It’s the ITF. They want us to go out on the court. If it was at an ATP tournament, we wouldn’t have been on the court.”