Berdych criticizes decision to finish match in near-darkness, Murray agrees

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Photo by Anita Aguilar

Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych questioned Wimbledon officials for letting the Czech's match against Marin Cilic continue in near-darkness on Friday. The third set was played out, eventually being decided by a tiebreak.

The match finished at 9:38 p.m., exceeding the previous record of 9:35 p.m., which was set when a match was stopped for lack of light. The previous record for a match being played to completion was 9:28 p.m. The Hawk-Eye system stopped working during the third set because of lack of light.

Berdych, who lost in straight sets, said the Hawk-Eye suspension was an indication the match should have been stopped. ''If I start the match on court where we don't have Hawk-Eye, it's how it is since the beginning. But if somebody told me that some machine doesn't work just because of the light, that we don't have enough, so why we have to play?'' said Berdych.

''I mean, when everybody is saying that the machine is always correct, it's always the best way and we cannot argue to that, which sometimes the calls are, you know, so-so, then why we have to play more?''

Berdych, who had also argued with the umpire over whether a linesman should be changed, said he had been so frustrated with the officiating he did not insist on play being stopped. 

''I didn't even have the energy to talk to him when we should stop,'' said Berdych. ''Or 4-3, he just told me, 'Well, the Hawk-Eye doesn't work because it's too dark.' So we don't have the Hawk-Eye anymore. I said, 'All right, and we play more?' 'Yeah, you play.' That's fine.''

Murray, who came off court before the Berdych match had finished, suggested that play should have been stopped. ''I couldn't see the ball on TV,'' he said.

''From a player's perspective, when the light starts to go, it's tough to play good tennis, to play properly. I don't think you want matches to be decided on someone shanking a ball. You want players to be able to play their best tennis for as long as possible.

''If it was too dark to see, then they should have stopped.''

For complete Wimbledon coverage, including updated draws and reports from Steve Tignor, head to our tournament page.

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