Murray wants Wimbledon schedule to change, says slams not doing right by players

Murray says scheduling decisions are being made for financial reasons

Andy Murray, Wimbledon 2023 Action Plus / Panoramic
US Open •First round • completed
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Andy Murray has called on Wimbledon to change their scheduling to make things fairer for all players.

And the Scot, twice the winner at Wimbledon, says all the Grand Slams need to do more to make life better for the players, especially when it comes to night matches.

Murray finished his match with Thanasi Kokkinakis at 4am at the Australian Open this year and was unable to recover in time to be fully fit for his next match. Playing matches well past midnight might be good for TV, he said, but not for the players, fans or tournament staff.

“I think it’s just just generally not good for anyone,” he said. “Obviously when the players complain about that stuff, you sort of hear, ‘oh, shut up and get on with it’ or ‘try working in a warehouse from 9 to 5’. It’s like, yeah, I get that. I do get that. I know I’m fortunate to be playing tennis, but playing at four in the morning – tennis is also partly entertainment – I don’t think it helps the sport that much when you know everyone’s leaving because they have to go and get public transport home and you finish a match like that in front of 10% of the crowd.

“You don’t see it in other sports. It’s clearly wrong. And the reason for it is purely financial, it’s not because the people that are running the events believe that it’s good for the players, they don’t. It’s a financial reason for why they’re doing it.”

“They need to change start times”

Murray said tournament organisers need to think more about players and believes Wimbledon also needs to change.

“If they (slams) want to start (night sessions) at 7.30, if they want to play two women’s matches, that time’s fine; if they want to play a men’s match, then I think you can only play one match, unless you’re going to start sooner.

“Wimbledon, they obviously need to change the start times of the matches and move it sooner, stop having the 20-minute breaks between the matches.

“It might still happen from time to time but you’re kind of doing the best that you can to avoid it. And I think that becomes fair on the players because you can’t really expect someone to recover if you finish a match at 4.30 in the morning.”

Murray ready for Moutet challenge after injury scare

Murray begins his US Open campaign on Tuesday against Frenchman Corentin Moutet and after a scare over an abominal tear which forced him to pull out before his third-round match with Jannik Sinner in Toronto, he says he’s ready to go.

“The last five or six days of practice have been really good,” he said. “I have not had any issues serving. It is just obviously that you don’t take a week off from serving then go full into it. You need to build up a little bit. It has not been perfect in that sense but my ab has been ok.”

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