• Dubai Tennis Championships

Sponsors take dim view of Murray comments

ESPN staff
February 26, 2010
Andy Murray's approach to the Dubai Tennis Championships has been called into question © Getty Images

Andy Murray has come in for criticism from the title sponsors of the Dubai Tennis Championships following his lacklustre effort against Janko Tipsarevic and the controversial comments that followed his loss.

Murray produced a far from convincing display in losing in three sets and said in his post-game press conference that he had tried things against Tipsarevic that he would not have done in a Grand Slam event.

Barclays are a key backer for the sport and title sponsor in Dubai and their tennis consultant John Beddington was disappointed with Murray's approach.

"We are disappointed that he lost and also that he made remarks which were not really necessary," Beddington said. "While we appreciate that top players value Grand Slams over other tournaments, because of their prestige and points, this is one of the top events at "500" level on the ATP Tour.

"Dubai Duty Free (the event organisers) looked after him very well and put him up in the (self titled most luxurious hotel in the world) Burj Al Arab hotel and tried to make his stay here as comfortable as possible.

"If he is going to be testing out new strategies, a match of this significance was probably not the place to do it."

Novak Djokovic battled back from a set down to beat Ivan Ljubicic on Wednesday and he issued a warning to the players at the top of the game.

"You carry responsibility when you are top five, you cannot just go out there and practise," Djokovic said. "There is a lot of expectation."

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