Andy Murray beat Thanasi Kokkinakis when it was 4:06 in the morning in Melbourne. The Scotsman threw his heart over the obstacle to access the third round of the Australian Open and his fighting spirit is praised. The end-of-game time, however, has made many insiders turn up their noses, convinced that it is necessary to reform the daily scheduling of matches.
Among these is the former world tennis star John McEnroe, commentator for Eurosport, who sided with Andy Murray: "It doesn't happen often, but for me they should make sure it doesn't happen. It will be a fight that will be talked about for a long time, but it is also a fight that greatly affects Andy's chances of progressing in the tournament.
This type of situation has happened before and every time it has had an impact on the players. What other sport, whether it's the World Cup, American football or the NBA, is played until four in the morning? It is absolutely absurd that these things happen.
There should be some sort of breakpoint. After that, what's the latest time players should stop? These things need to be fixed."
Murray: "Finishing so late is bad for everyone"
From the point of view of the show, the adrenaline, the excitement generated by a challenge like the one staged between Thanasi Kokkinakis and Andy Murray are incomparable.
The two tennis players were the architects of a literally record-breaking match on the Maragaret Court Arena. The match between "Thanos" and "Sir Andy", in fact, officially climbed on the podium of the matches that ended after 4 in the morning, finishing in third place (the other two are Hewitt-Baghdatis at the 2008 Australian Open and Zverev-Brooksby at Acapulco last year).
Which, net of the positive epilogue of the match, also leaves Murray himself dumbfounded: "I don't know who benefits. In a match like that, yes, we come here after the match, and that's what we talk about, instead of talking about the epic match between Murray and Kokkinakis.
There are people who have to work the next day and these are not suitable hours. If my child was a kid playing soccer for a tournament and came home at 5am, I would be pissed as a parent. He is not beneficial to them. He is not beneficial to referees and match officials.
I don't think he's great for the fans. It's not good for the players. So yeah, we talk about it all the time. He's been talking about it for years. When night matches start late and there are conditions like that, these things happen."