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Murray, Tiafoe follow up gruelling Antwerp encounter with lengthy locker-room chat

The Andy Murray vs Frances Tiafoe match in Antwerp on Tuesday won’t soon be forgotten. And it led to a rare occurrence afterward, with two competitors engaging in a long conversation.

Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe played the longest best-of-three match of the year on Tuesday at the European Open.

They probably set a record for the longest post-match conversation in the locker room, too.

According to Murray, he and Tiafoe chatted for 30 minutes after the veteran Scot outlasted the up-and-coming American 7-6(2), 6-7(7), 7-6(8) in an epic first-round affair at the Antwerp 250. At three hours and 45 minutes, it surpassed the Rafael Nadal vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas Barcelona final (3:38) as the longest three-setter of the season.

It was a rare match, and what happened afterward was equally unusual.

“I think maybe once I’ve had [a] conversation…twice…but very short after matches in the locker room,” Murray reflected. “Once was with (Jurgen Melzer at the US Open after I beat him in five sets and we chatted a bit about the match, and then once after playing Jarkko Nieminen because we were waiting to speak to the Queen after we played. We were sort of standing next to each other, so we had a chat about the match.

“[I had] a long chat with Frances afterwards, so I’ll probably remember that and then the embrace at the end. I guess so much went into it that I don’t remember loads of points in the match, but obviously the end was special. I’ve never played a match like that on the tour really…. In the locker room we had a much more in-depth chat about tennis, not so much the match…. That was kind of rare I would say.”

The exhausted 34-year-old was unable to reflect on the specifics of the match; the conversation is what stood out.

“There’s obviously so much that goes into a match like that,” he concluded. “The margins were so fine. I served particularly well at the end, which helped, and when he missed his first serve on that match point. I was able to capitalise on that.

“Then in terms of what I’ll remember, I just spent probably 30 minutes in the locker room afterwards just chatting to Frances really.”

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