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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020

'I checked the rules beforehand, and I spoke to my team. We were clear you don't speak to your coaches.'

Andy Murray was unhappy with US Open officials, but Fernando Verdasco denied breaking the rules.

Fernando Verdasco and Andy Murray during their second match round at the 2018 US Open.
Fernando Verdasco and Andy Murray during their second match round at the 2018 US Open.
Image: Dubreuil Corinne/ABACA

FERNANDO VERDASCO DENIED Andy Murray’s claim that he spoke to his coach during a break in his second-round US Open win.

Murray accused Verdasco of speaking to his coach during a 10-minute break after the third set of the Spaniard’s 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-4 win yesterday.

Both players were granted a break due to the heat at Flushing Meadows, before Verdasco closed out a four-set win.

Murray said he saw Verdasco speaking to his coach during the break, as he hit out at officials.

“I went for a shower. He was having an ice bath. When I came out of the shower, his coach and his – I don’t know if he’s playing doubles with him, but one of the Spanish doubles players was in there chatting to him, and you’re not allowed to speak to your coach. I went and told the supervisor,” the Brit said.

“I said, ‘What are you guys doing? I mean, there’s clear rules here and you’re allowing this to take place. I don’t get it.’

“Then he ran through, ‘Oh, you’re not allowed to speak.’

“I checked the rules beforehand, and I spoke to my team. We were clear you don’t speak to your coaches. They obviously weren’t in there for long, but you’ve got to do better than that.

“This is one of the biggest events in the world. If you have rules like that, you need to stick with them because one player getting to speak to the coach and the other not is not fair.”

However, Verdasco dismissed Murray’s claim, saying he was aware of the rules and he never spoke to his coach.

“I know the rule exactly. I know you can’t talk with your team or use the phone or use anything. It’s like a break on the court, but just in the locker room,” he said. “I saw my coach in the locker room, but I didn’t even talk one word with him. I think he went to the toilet. I obviously cannot say, ‘Don’t go to the toilet.’ But actually we didn’t even speak one word.

“I was in the ice bath with [Marcos] Baghdatis and his coach. The guy from the court with the time behind me just because I was asking him, ‘Please tell me the time so I don’t get late’. Andy didn’t take an ice bath. I was first. I didn’t even know Andy was coming. I told Marcos when I saw Andy, ‘Maybe he’s coming.’ Andy said, ‘No, I’m not taking ice bath.’ I said, ‘Marcos, you can stay.’

“I went in, I saw my coach, we didn’t talk one word. I just dressed up quickly and went back to the court.

“Obviously if you say or Andy say that, I don’t want to say that he lied, but I didn’t talk one word with my coach or any one member of my team. I know exactly the rule and I don’t want to be the one breaking it.”

The Spaniard, who had lost 13 of his previous 14 meetings with Murray, edged to a victory in hot conditions on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Murray often showed signs of a player continuing his return from injury, with the tournament in New York marking his first grand slam appearance since last year’s Wimbledon.

Verdasco improved as the match went on to secure his first win over Murray since the 2009 Australian Open, setting up a third-round clash with Juan Martin del Potro.

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