Andy Murray was left fuming after he was denied a chance to go to the toilet in the middle of his five-set marathon against Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Australian Open.
The former world No. 1 had battled back from a two-set deficit against Kokkinakis to leave a deciding fifth set between him and victory.
In the break before the final frame, Murray requested to use the bathroom, only to be told by the chair umpire that he wasn’t allowed to as he’d already been once in the match.
“Do you know something? I respect the rules. It’s a joke, it is a joke and you know it as well,” the 35-year-old said to the umpire.
“It’s so disrespectful that the tournament has us out here until three, f***ing four in the morning and we’re not allowed to take a piss.
“It’s disrespectful to you, it’s disrespectful to the ball children, disrespectful to the players and we’re not allowed to go to the toilet. It’s ridiculous.”
2003 US Open winner Andy Roddick agreed with Murray’s complaints, writing on Twitter: “Correct. This is just so dumb.”
It isn’t the first time during this grand slam that restrictions over players using the toilet have made the headlines after Novak Djokovic appeared to take matters into his own hands to take an early toilet break in his first-round victory.
The Serbian asked to go to the bathroom just five games into his match against Roberto Carballés Baena on Tuesday, but the umpire appeared to not hear Djokovic so could be heard saying “hello” three times to get her attention before Djokovic said: “I’m going to the toilet.”
The 21-time grand slam winner ran off the court with the umpire shouting “Novak” after him. Although the umpire could be heard saying he had 30 seconds to return, Djokovic was back on court before the timer ran out, winning the following game comfortably.
Afterwards, Djokovic denied that he had defied the umpire’s orders as he went to the toilet.
“So she told me (you didn’t capture that with a camera), I had to hurry up. When I almost exited the court, she called me (I didn’t hear) and it was to tell me toilet was on the opposite side of the court,” Djokovic wrote on Instagram.
“I found one where I went also, and I had to be quick because of the time. I didn’t ‘defy’ her or the rules. She gave me permission and told me to be quick.”
The outburst or the inability to go to the toilet didn’t hinder Murray though in the final set as he clinched a famous victory which took five hours and 45 minutes in total – the longest match of Murray’s illustrious career.
The match, which went on past 4 a.m. in Melbourne, was another reminder of the qualities we’ve come to know Murray for: grit, determination and that ‘never give up’ attitude.
Murray will now play the No. 24 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round.