Open13 organiser hammers Murray for withdrawal
An angry French tennis official has called for Andy Murray to be suspended from the ATP Tour after the world No.3 withdrew from this week’s Open13 tournament in Marseille late last week.
The Scot opted to skip the event, for the second time in the past two years, in order to rest after a long spell in Australia, where he reached the final of both the Hopman Cup alongside Laura Robson and the Australian Open, where he lost to Roger Federer in the final.
But tournament organiser Jean-Francois Caujolle has accused Murray, who had been installed as the top seed, of flaunting his responsibilities and going back on his word.
“Murray did the same thing to me last year,” Caujolle said. “He can’t know what it is to keep his word.
“A week ago, he asked me for a wildcard to play doubles with his brother Jamie and I gave him one,” he added.
“A few days ago he asked me for five hotel rooms and I gave him them. The No.1 seed of a tournament should have a sense of responsibility. If he does not respect his commitments, he should be suspended by the ATP.”
However, Caujolle later softened his stance. “I never said that he should be suspended,” he protested, “but it’s true I was really disappointed because he was my top player.
“There is a responsibility for the credibility of all the game when it’s a top player. Sometimes you have to force yourself and be responsible.
“I understand he’s quite young and it’s not a huge tournament but it’s quite disappointing and we had the same last year,” added the Open13 director, who shortly after receiving word of Murray’s withdrawal learned that Juan Martin del Potro was also pulling out with a wrist injury.
“Last year he played in Rotterdam and was a bit injured and I understand that. He sent me an email saying next year I will play.
“I lost my top two players. I think the top seed and marquee player – they have to not pull out because all the promotion is framed around them. There should be something [done about it] but the ATP is working on that, it’s not the fault of the ATP or even Andy. It’s just life.”
Ironically, Murray recently expressed an interest in following Novak Djokovic’s lead and establishing an ATP event in Scotland – with an indoor event in February the likeliest option.
Murray admitted that such plans were for the future, “when I’m not training so much,” but revealed he has sounded out the relevant parties.
“I think all the players would love to put on a tournament,” said Murray, who is also backing mother Judy’s plans to establish a performance centre in his home nation, which are on the verge of coming to fruition.
“They obviously know what the players need. You saw what a good job they did in Valencia,” he added, referring to Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer’s Valencia Open, which Murray won last year on his return from a wrist injury.
“I’ve spoken to a few people about it. If you’re going to do it you make sure you do it well. If I was to do something like that I would want to make sure I’m really involved in it.”
Murray is scheduled to play in Dubai next week before turning his attention to the first two Masters 1000 events of the year, where he has a huge number of rankings points to defend.
He was beaten in last year’s final of the BNP Paribas Masters in Indian Wells by Rafael Nadal before beating Djokovic to win the Sony Ericsson Open title in Miami, Florida.