Scottish tennis star Andy Murray is off to a flying start at the US Open, but the match was mired in a technological controversy. This is the first time the Video Assist Review (VAR) has been introduced at a Grand Slam. However, the VAR system failed spectacularly in its debut.
Murray was playing against Corentin Moutet in his first-round encounter at the Flushing Meadows. The Scotsman was serving for the match in the third set when Moutet asked for a review. The umpire had initially called in favor of Murray but Moutet wanted to check for double bounce.
Louise Engzell, the match umpire, brought out a tablet to review the call. However, she later announced that the tablet was not working.
VAR didn’t quite go to plan at the US Open between Corentin Moutet and Andy Murray 📺 pic.twitter.com/oV4WOWnvIu
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) August 29, 2023
Since the umpire could not review the footage, she could not give a ruling, despite the giant screens showing what had happened. As the piece of technology was not working, the original call stood and Murray won the point.
Following the victory, Murray expressed his disappointment with the technology. He added that he was in favor of using technology in tennis, but it needs to work, otherwise, it is a farce. “When it goes like that, it turns into a bit of a farce,” said Andy (via BBC).
Technology has become an integral part of tennis in the last few years, aiding officials to make the right calls. However, this is the first time the umpires have access to the VAR, to check for double bounces, hindrances, etc.
Andy Murray had been preparing for his return to the US Open and it paid off. He cruised through the opening round, defeating Moutet 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in straight sets. This victory marked his 200th victory at Grand Slams.
Andy Murray creates history with 200th win
Former world number one Andy Murray scripted history as he became the ninth man to reach 200 Grand Slam wins. The three-time Grand Slam champion now joins an elite club that is headed by none other than Roger Federer (369).
Most Grand Slam men’s singles wins, all time:
Federer – 369
Djokovic – 355
Nadal – 314
Connors – 233
Agassi – 224
Lendl – 222
Emerson – 210
Sampras – 203
Murray – 200 🆕
Edberg – 178
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 29, 2023
Murray is just three wins behind Pete Sampras and will be able to overtake him if Murray can make it to the quarterfinal. But it is still a ways away. Andy Murray will face off against Grigor Dimitrov in the next round.