The gong heard round the tennis world! That’s what may or may not have sent Andy Murray over the edge during his US Open quarterfinal match against Kei Nishikori.
Murray led two sets to one at 1-1 with Nishikori serving down break point at 30-40, a malfunction in the audio board produced a gong sound disrupting play. And gong-gate was born!
The point in progress when the intrusion took place had to be replayed. Murray subsequently lost the point and dropped seven straight games, and eventually the match!
“Wayne McKewen told me that it happened four times during the match that the speakers had gone off like that,” Murray said of the ensuing argument. “I had only heard it one time before, which was on set point in the second set. That was it.”
Had the sound not gone off, maybe Murray gets the break? That’s debatable. But it did seemed to bother Murray more than Nishikori.
“My concentration went off,” Nishikori said. “I don’t know what’s the reason, but for sure they have to stop that.”
And the US Open did stop it. In a statement, the USTA explained the noise:
“One of the three digital audio sound processors in Arthur Ashe Stadium malfunctioned early in the fourth set of the Kei Nishikori – Andy Murray match. The malfunctioning unit is located at the court level. The three processors are linked, and work as a single unit. The malfunctioning unit could not be taken off-line without interrupting play. The malfunctioning unit will be replaced between the day and evening sessions. The replacement of the unit, which requires the shutting down and then re-booting of the system, can take up to thirty minutes.”
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