Andy Murray lost to Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals at the US Open, losing control of the match after a bizarre sound over the loudspeakers interrupted play.
Murray was up two sets to one and had a break point that would have given him a 2-1 lead in the fourth set against Nishikori. Murray seemingly had control of the point when something that sounded like a loud gong rang from the speakers.
After the bizarre sequence, Murray would lose seven straight games, including the last five of the fourth set to tie the match up at two sets apiece and the first two games of the fifth set. He eventually lost the fifth set 7-5.
During the gong point, the umpire immediately called a let and ordered the point to be played over. Murray threw his hands up in disgust.
Instead of shaking the point off and moving ahead, Murray seemed to suffer a bit of a meltdown.
On the second serve of the point being replayed, Murray hit his return into the middle of the net, a shot that didn’t even come close to clearing the net. He then immediately walked over to the umpire.
Murray then argued that something similar happened in the first set and that the umpire said then that she would not stop play. Murray didn’t wait for an answer and instead just walked away.
ESPN commentator Cliff Drysdale wondered if the mishit was intentional out of anger with the umpire, essentially giving up a break point.
“Why would he walk away from that last point, it was break point?” Drysdale wondered. “It’s almost like he didn’t care. It’s almost like he wanted to make the point with the umpire, which is fine, but make it after you win the point.”
U.S. Open officials later released a statement saying the sound was from a digital audio sound processor that malfunctioned.
After losing the seven straight games, Murray finally righted the ship a bit and won two straight games to even the decisive fifth set 2-2. But he eventually fell and it is Nishikori who is moving on to the semifinals.