Tennis veteran Andy Murray was absolutely FUMING after his opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas took an eight-minute bathroom break in the middle of their first-round match at the U.S. Open on Monday.
“It’s never once taken me that long to go to the toilet, ever,” Murray bragged to a tournament supervisor, revealing that he has clearly never suffered the debilitating effects of IBS or even just a wickedly bad lunch.
Tsitsipas, who is ranked the number three men’s tennis player in the world, took his prolonged potty pause before the fifth set, nearly four hours into the match. Although he eventually received a time violation warning for taking too long to return to the court, the 23-year-old went on to beat Murray, who had been hoping to make a comeback.
After the match, Murray said he “lost respect for” Tsitsipas after his toilet tricks. He also spoke out against bathroom break culture as a whole, saying, “The same things keep happening … It’s not good for TV. It’s not good for fans. I don’t think it’s a good look for the players, either.”
Being forced to continue playing tennis when it feels like your intestines are about to crawl out of your ass is probably not good for the players, either, but this difference of opinion may simply come down to generational clashes. According to the Washington Post, the question of whether or not tennis players are exploiting toilet breaks is a contentious topic, with many veteran players expressing frustration at how young hot shots these days are taking advantage of the rules — which allow two breaks per five-set match for “reasonable” lengths of time — to regroup mentally in the latrine.
The Post points out that Murray himself took a strategic restroom respite-turned-pep talk in 2012, which he later credited for his U.S. Open victory. A recent Wall Street Journal analysis found that top player Novak Djokovic has “an 83.3% success rate following a trip to the restroom.”
Our sympathies to Murray in this arcane world of professional tennis, but maybe he should just be thankful that he has apparently never experienced the agony of fighting for one’s life on the can for an excruciating 15 minutes. Some of us are not so blessed.