The Davis Cup is, for many fans, one of the most exciting non-Grand Slam events in tennis. The team-based nature of it paired with the boisterous crows helps to form an atmosphere that simply does not come with other tennis events. Indeed, many tennis fans have found themselves getting into the sport purely through this event – it adds a layer of energy and colour to the tennis calendar. Not everyone, though, enjoys the tournament. One player who isn’t so keen on the current format is Andy Murray.
The Scottish tennis star has been out of his peak for a few years now, but still competes despite near career-ending surgery. His form has been impressive in recent times, if some way off what he used to produce in his heyday. That being said, Murray was on the end of a defeat in Great Britain’s first Davis Cup match. And after play was finished, Murray did not wait long to announce his displeasure with the current Davis Cup playing schedule.
Alongside Joe Salisbury, the duo took on Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock of the USA. They eventually lost 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, losing the match in Glasgow. Murray, the former No. 1 of the entire ATP ranking system, did not hold back on his opinion on the calendar.
The match did not begin until after 10PM BST thanks to the two matches beforehand running longer than usual. This meant that the match was starting at a late time, and did not finish until 1AM BST. Murray noticed the fans had left early, with many unable to stay to such a late hour, and it means that the crowd was effectively cut in two by the end of the event.
What did Andy Murray say about the late finish at the Davis Cup?
Never one to shy away from an opinion, the Scot noted after the match ended: “It would be better if they were earlier I think for everyone involved. I don’t think it’s ideal for the fans. That match that we played there, there’s probably half of the people in there at the end of the match that were there at the beginning.
“It’s a bit of a shame because they missed a great match. It’s not probably because they didn’t want to stay. If you got children here, you can’t stay with them. You got to get a bus or train home. Can’t do it.”
He also noted that it was not just an issue for his team, but the opposition too. On that front, Murray added: “They’re [Team USA] probably not going to be tucked up in their beds until, I don’t know what the time is, probably 3:30, 4:00 in the morning by the time they’ve done their recovery and managed to sort of calm down after a tie like that.
“It’s not just here. We’ve seen it obviously at the US Open even just last week. It’s something that tennis needs to sort of have a bit of a think about. I don’t think it looks that professional.”
Fair comments from one of the most important players in British tennis history. Whether a change takes place or not, though, remains to be seen.