Andy Murray hit out at the scheduling of his third-round match at the Citi Open in Washington after finishing off a three-set victory over Marius Copil at 3.01am.
Murray is playing just his third tournament since hip surgery in January and must now try to recover for a quarter-final against Alex De Minaur later on Friday.
The Scot even suggested he may pull out rather than risk putting his body through such an ordeal so soon in his comeback after taking three hours and two minutes to defeat Romanian Copil 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/4).
Murray told reporters at the tournament: “I don’t think it’s reasonable and I’m disappointed in that. I know that the weather’s tricky for the scheduling. But it’s a very difficult position to be in when you’re coming back from such a long lay-off.
“Finishing matches at 3am is not good. It’s not good for the players, not good, I don’t think, for anyone involved in the event. Not good for fans, not good for TV, nobody.”
It was the latest finish in the 50-year history of the tournament, which this year has been blighted by rain.
After shaking hands with Copil and acknowledging the understandably sparse crowd, Murray sat down in his chair and sobbed repeatedly into his towel.
“Just the emotions coming at the end of an extremely long day and a long match,” he said.
Murray looked set to win the opening set against Copil, ranked 93, after moving 5-0 ahead in the tie-break only for the Romanian to reel off seven points in a row.
The 31-year-old levelled the contest and looked the stronger in the decider but Copil pushed him all the way to a deciding tie-break. It was a third successive three-set match at the tournament for Murray, who defeated American Mackenzie McDonald in the opening round and compatriot Kyle Edmund in his second match on Wednesday.
Asked how he felt physically, Murray replied: “It doesn’t feel great, just now. I don’t know how you are expected to recover from that. By the time you’re done with all your recovery and stuff, it’s going to be six in the morning. I’d obviously try and sleep as late as I can but with the way your body clock is and stuff, you might get a few hours’ sleep. It’s not good. And it’s basically like playing two matches in a day.”