March 29, 2023

Scottish tennis champion Andy Murray has joined the unpaid ball boy debate at the Australian Open after sore-eyed children were forced to work until after 4am without pay on Thursday.

Ball boys at the Australian Open have to dodge serves traveling at over 200km/h and endure Melbourne’s blistering heat without earning a penny, even though their counterparts at other Grand Slam events are paid.

Murray (pictured during his win over Thanasi Kokkinakis) vented about the treatment of the ballboys in the match, which didn’t end until 4:08 a.m.

The Clock Strikes 4 Am During The Murray Vs. Kokkinakis Match As A Ball Boy Patiently Takes His Place, Ready For The Next Serve.

The clock strikes 4 am during the Murray vs. Kokkinakis match as a ball boy patiently takes his place, ready for the next serve.

Now they can add whole nights to their workload.

Murray, 35, turned back the clock to go deep and find his best form against Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.

The Brit was down two sets and looking down the barrel of a break point in the third set before rallying to complete a memorable five-set victory against the home hopes.

The extended match didn’t even start until around 11pm AEDT and Murray said that was unfair to child unpaid laborers.

“If my son was a ball boy for a tournament, he would come home at 5 am in the morning, as a parent, I’m mad at that,” Murray said.

‘It’s not beneficial for them. It is not beneficial for the referees, the officials. I don’t think it’s surprising to the fans. It is not good for the players.

Murray Has Questioned Why Games Have To Be Scheduled So Late When There Are Children Working On The Pitch, Saying It'S Unfair To Force Them To Stay Up Until 5Am.

Murray has questioned why games have to be scheduled so late when there are children working on the pitch, saying it’s unfair to force them to stay up until 5am.

‘We talk about it all the time. It has been talked about for years. When you start late night games and have conditions like that, these things are going to happen.”

Many fans agreed that the matches at the Australian Open should start earlier.

‘Probably the most important game of the night and they start at 22:00. Big matches like this should be moved to 7:00 pm one fan posted.

‘It’s ridiculous that it even started at around 10pm or whatever, it was a bad decision Tennis Australia! Have a day in reserve for delays, it’s not rocket science,” said another.

‘Tired… big games should start earlier. The organizers know what games could go on and on. This is a great match though,’ added another.

Ball Boys Are Expected To Clean Up Spills And Collect Balls, Dodge 200Km/H Services And Endure The Melbourne Heat, All Without Pay.

Ball boys are expected to clean up spills and collect balls, dodge 200km/h services and endure the Melbourne heat, all without pay.

On Friday morning, a GoFundMe The page was created with the intention of raising $25,000 to send directly to Tennis Australia for distribution to ball boys.

While there were many fans who were sympathetic to the youngsters, there were others who said the long nights were part of the experience of interacting with the biggest stars in the sport.

‘If I was a ball boy back in the day, I would have loved front row seats to an amazing game that lasted 6 hours. I wouldn’t even want a penny for it. What a story to tell later to your classmates at school after the school holidays.’ replied a fan.

Despite calls from fans and some players, including Murray, to tweak the schedule, Tennis Australia boss Craig Tilley said that was unlikely to happen.

“At this point, there is no need to alter the schedule,” he said on The Today Show.

‘We will always look at it, when we do the report (of the tournament), as we do every year.

“But at this point, at what it is, we have to fit those games into the 14 days, so you don’t have a lot of options.”