The three-time Grand Slam champion, Andy Murray, playing in a lower-level ATP Tour event having failed to come to a ‘working quarantine’ arrangement with the Australian Open, has reached the Biella final where he faces Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko who has taken the opportunity to complain at the preferential treatment the former world number one is receiving.
I have a rather negative attitude towards his participation at this event, At the tournament, they do whatever he wants, also in terms of training. Illya Marchenko
“I have a rather negative attitude towards his participation at this event,” Marchenko denounced. “At the tournament, they do whatever he wants, also in terms of training.
“All courts in Biella are different, so it’s problematic to get your time to practice on centre. We were unceremoniously rescheduled and, in the end, we had to cancel one of the sessions.”
“Of course, I understand everything but it’s unpleasant.”
To stress his point, he added: “There was a moment today at our match (quarter-final – he beat the fourth seeded Lorenzo Giustano of Italy 6-2 2-6 7-5), someone was constantly going somewhere. And after the match, there was security because Murray was playing.”
He also complained about treatment from the officials,
“They also didn’t want to let me go to physio until the end of the game. There it was necessary to go to the side of the court.
“Since after such a long match I was not particularly in the mood to stand and wait, the situation quickly escalated. And I was outraged by the fact that I played 15 minutes ago and everyone went wherever they wanted.
“Naturally, they let me go in the end.”
And looking to the final, he was still keen to meet him.
“And yes, of course. It would be interesting to play with him.”
Murray, playing in his first tournament since October, beat France’s Mathias Bourgue 6-0 7-5 to reach the final without dropping a set all week.
Bourgue took Murray to five sets in the 2016 French Open but he but he proved not to be the same player on the hard indoor court, committing a number of unforced errors winning just seven points in the first five games of the match.
However, he took the former British number one to deuce in the sixth game before losing the set 6-0 and was more competitive in the second set.
It took Murray until the seventh game to achieve the first break but then he dropped his serve and was forced to save a set point as Bourgue led 5-4.
Murray managed to re-assert his authority in time, however, breaking his opponent in the 11th game and serving out for a victory that sets up a meeting with Marchenko, who gained a 7-5 6-1 win over Italy’s Federico Gaio, the second seed, in the first semi-final.
In view of the Ukrainian’s comments the final promises to be a full-blooded affair.