After a seven month hiatus, the Outer Courts are back here live in Flushing, Queens, returning to the tennis scene with reckless abandon. When Drew and I got off the 7 train and began the walk to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, a warm and fuzzy feeling entered our hearts yet again. We are back home, where the air is hot, the patrons are drunk and the tennis is (in Round One) mildly interesting. As we eased back into our role as outsiders in the tennis world, it was very kind of the USTA to once again forget to give us a seat in the media room and to allow us the good fortune of writing in the cafeteria once again. It isn't a real tennis column unless it is written next to an overweight photographer engulfing the lunch special (today it was chicken wings).
There was however little time for sentimentalities as major action blasted into our senses the moment we arrived when the ground buzzed with news that Andy Murray found himself locked into a battle with Robin Haase. Longtime tennis fans will remember that these two played in one of the more boring and nauseating five setters in the last decade, bringing the crowd to its knees in agony in this very tournament in 2011. What Murray/Haase may lack in emotion or sex appeal, it makes up for in ridiculous moments and thankfully today was no different. After winning the first two sets rather easily, Murray hit a cold streak like his countryman Ricky Gervais (can we all acknowledge that since "Extras" he has not only not been as funny, but he is becoming unlikeable and insufferable...ok, we are all on the same page, good), dropping eight straight games along with a set and a break in the process. Full on panic mode hit Armstrong Stadium, and Murray began to cramp, leading to some speculation that the former champion could be in real trouble.
However just when all hope looked lost for the Brit, the physical ailments flipped as potassium began to flow through Murray's muscles and Haase hit the skids. The Dutch player whiffed on a key shot, only to follow it up with a strange body contortion that had him grimace in pain. At the changeover, Haase asked for a medical timeout and was refused the request by the chair umpire. Madness ensued, as Haase became irate at not being given the opportunity to recover and he proceeded to lose the final three games in an act of counterproductive protest. John McEnroe called the set one of the oddest he had ever seen on the match telecast, as the bizarre swings of momentums and injury issues perplexed everyone watching.
After the match however, no one cared about Haase (and few cared before), but many questions as to the health of Andy Murray filled the pressroom. After being asked if there would be any lingering effects (Murray said there would not) and if this had been an issue in the recent past (it had not), Andy was asked about what could have been the cause of his trouble in the 4th set:
Andy Murray says he doesn't think he was dehydrated. Had to urinate after the match. "Not to be too graphic, but it wasn't, like, brown."
— Tom Perrotta (@TomPerrotta) August 25, 2014
So there you have it. Andy Murray doesn't know what happened, but he knows it isn't dehydration. Following the tennis, he was able to inform us that his urine is not brown (on a side note, I didn't know that a symptom of dehydration was brown urine...I have been dehydrated before and I remember nothing about my urine except that there was very little of it...but maybe the symptoms are different in England, what with the metric system and all) and he thinks he will be fine in the next round when he runs up against Qualifier Matthias Bachinger. That is good to here as a US Open without Rafa Nadal needs all the star power it can get, and a healthy Andy Murray is good for business. Thankfully however Andy has left us with a horrendous and grotesque image in our head to tide us over until his next match and kick off the 2014 US Open with a bang. With two more weeks of matches upon us, we can only hope that we will be fortunate enough to have Andy continue to keep us updated on all of his bodily functions with such specific and unnecessary details in the days to come.