ENGLISH tennis great Andy Murray had fire in his belly as he departed the US Open in a demoralising upset loss to veteran Fernando Verdasco.
The Spaniard rocked the Murray 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-4 in the round of 64, but that wasn’t the only thing that ruffled the 2012 champion’s feathers up. Murray sensationally blew up at the chair umpire after claiming to see Verdasco flouting the rules during their 10-minute heat break under the searing New York sun.
Murray said he saw Verdasco conversing with his coach in the break, a big no-no under international tennis rules, which state no player can talk with a member of their team while a match is underway.
“This is one of the biggest events in the world,” a furious Murray told an official. “If you have rules like that, you need to stick with them because one player getting to speak to the coach and the other not is not fair.”
If you thought a few days in an ice bath would cool the fiery Englishman’s temper, you were sorely mistaken.
Murray took to Instagram to farewell New York for another year and slam what appears to be Verdasco in a pointed hashtag.
“Then (the supervisor) ran through, ‘oh, you’re not allowed to speak.’ They obviously weren’t in there for long, but you’ve got to do better than that. This is one of the biggest events in the world,” Murray said. “I had to tell them because no-one knows the f***ing rules.”
Verdasco flatly denied any such rule breach had taken place, claiming that while his coach was in the locker room, he spokeonly to another player, Marcos Baghdatis, and the Cypriot’s coach.
“Obviously if Andy says that, I don’t want to say that he lies, but I didn’t talk one word with my coach or any one member of my team. I know exactly the rule and I don’t want to be the one breaking it,” he said.
With tournament organisers apparently unable to shed any lighten what happened, it was a case of one man’s word against the other — and Murray was determined to make sure it was he who had the last one.
As Murray was bowing out No. 1 seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal powered into the third round with a straight-sets win over Vasek Pospisil. Nadal hit a barrage of winners and mixed in lobs and drop shots to confound the unseeded 28-year-old Pospisil, ranked 88th.
The Spaniard got an early break in the third set and raced ahead to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.
He’ll face 27th-seed Karen Khachanov, 22, of Russia in the third round. Murray was furious that it was he who alerted officials to the incident, telling umpire Nico Helwerth when he returned to the court: “I had to tell them because no-one knows the f***ing rules.
Nick Kyrgios, who has history with Verdasco, also weighed in on the debate, saying of the coaching accusations on Twitter: “Let’s be real, very believable because it is Verdasco lol.” Stan Wawrinka fought off French qualifier Ugo Humbert to earn a 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory and a place in the third round.
The 33-year-old now faces 25th seed Milos Raonic after the big-hitting Canadian blasted past Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3 6-46-4.
Russia’s unseeded Daniil Medvedev upset 15th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-3.
Fifth-seed Kevin Anderson advanced with a 6-2 6-4 6-4 victory over France’s Jeremy Chardy.
John Inner reached the third round for the seventh consecutive year, beating 42nd-ranked Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.
— with AAP