Murray’s captivating five-set victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis was the second-latest finish in the tournament’s history. But the 35-year-old said the time had come for tennis as a whole to scrap such late-night contests in the future.
“I don’t know who it’s beneficial for, a match like that,” he said following a 4-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory. “We come here after the match and that’s what the discussion is rather than being on an epic Murray-Kokkinakis match. It ends in a bit of a farce.
“Amazingly, people stayed until the end and I really appreciate people doing that and creating an atmosphere for us. Some people obviously need to work the following day and everything.
“But if my child was a ball kid for a tournament and they’re coming home at five in the morning, as a parent, I’m snapping at that. It’s not beneficial for them, it’s not beneficial for the umpire and the officials. I don’t think it’s amazing for the fans. It’s not good for the players.
“It’s been spoken about for years but, when you start the night matches late and have conditions like that, these things are going to happen. The match was obviously very up and down.”
Australian Open 2023 - In pictures
Murray next plays Roberto Bautista Agut, whom he faced at the tournament back in 2019 before bowing out of the sport for hip surgery.
Quite how his body recover remains to be seen but tournament director Craig Tiley said he would look at future scheduling. He said: “We will always look at it when we do the tournament like we do every year.
“It was an epic match and, when you scheduled a match like that just before 10pm in the evening before, you’re not expecting it to go close to six hours.”