Murray hasn't heard of any US Open boycott plans

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Associated Press

Posted on January 21, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 21 at 9:00 AM

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andy Murray says he hasn't heard of any plans for a boycott of the U.S. Open over an added day without extra compensation.

The tournament is moving to a Monday men's final.

"I know that the ATP are not particularly happy with the Monday final. I know that's an issue because however much revenue they make from having an extra day on their tournament hasn't really reflected in the increase in the prize money," Murray said Monday after his fourth-round win over Gilles Simon at the Australian Open.

"Since the player meeting, I haven't discussed with any of the players what was said there, what the plans are," Murray said.

He said the players have been advocating for increased prize money, but not with an additional day of play.

"I think that's what they're disappointed with," said Murray, who won his only Grand Slam title at the 2012 U.S. Open. "But I personally haven't spoken with anyone about boycotting the event."

"I don't want to go into that here at all, not the place for it," he added. "Got the second week of a Slam to focus on. Can discuss that after the event. "

Last year, organizers of the Australian Open were also faced with the threat of a player strike, in part due to discontent over how prize money was distributed at the major tournaments.

The Australian Open responded by taking the lead among Grand Slams in increasing prize money this year, making it the richest event.

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EGO CHECK: Martina Navratilova says only a "big ego" could have driven Lance Armstrong to lie about doping for so many years, and she thinks he should never be allowed to compete in any sport again.

The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion said she didn't watch Armstrong's TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which he admitted to doping while winning seven Tour de France titles, because she'd already made up her mind about him.

"There is no justification for what he did," Navratilova said. "Lying about it with such conviction for so many years, suing people and winning and just denying it so many times. I mean, it takes some serious ego to be able to do that. Clearly, he has a big ego.

"He should never be able to compete anywhere at any level. If it was just a one-time deal, OK, but every year he raced, he was cheating. It's unimaginable."

Navratilova is in Melbourne to play in the Australian Open legends doubles event.

She's confident tennis is a clean sport, but thinks anti-doping authorities should be giving players blood tests on a more consistent basis.

When told that top-ranked men's player Novak Djokovic said he hadn't received a blood test in six months, Navratilova said: "He shouldn't be slipping through the cracks that much."

"Some people may be tested once a month and then some get tested maybe once or twice a year," she said. Anti-doping authorities "need to figure that out a little bit better, but overall I think tennis is in pretty good hands."

Navratilova is teaming with that other famous Martina, five-time major winner Martina Hingis, in the legends doubles event. The Martinas beat Lindsay Davenport and Cara Black in a single set 7-6 (4) on Monday.

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THE NEXT SERENA: Three-time major winner Lindsay Davenport doesn't believe the future of American women's tennis will be so bleak once Serena Williams retires.

Davenport, in Melbourne to play in the Australian Open legends event, says teenagers Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys have the kinds of weapons necessary to become future top-10 stars.

"It's not about just getting the ball back in play anymore. It's about being able to finish points. It's about having a good serve. I think both of them have that," she said.

Stephens, 19, will play Williams in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal Wednesday. Keys, 17, upset Austria's Tamira Paszek in the first round at Melbourne Park before losing to fifth-seeded German Angelique Kerber in the third round.

Davenport predicts it will be a few years, however, before Williams is ready to quit. She foresees Williams winning a few more major titles.

"She's at 15. The next record for her to break would be Martina (Navratilova) and Chris (Evert) — they're at 18. I think she'll for sure get to 19," Davenport says.

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TWEETING WITH THE ENEMY: It was 4 a.m. on Monday, about two hours after Novak Djokovic had ripped off his shirt to celebrate his thrilling five-set win over Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open.

But before turning in, Djokovic fired off one last tweet. It was to his opponent.

"Stan, thank you very much!! I am sorry for your loss.. Wish you all the best for the rest of the season.. It was great pleasure," Djokovic wrote.

Still awake himself, Wawrinka replied four minutes later: "Congrats for the fight tonight! Good luck for the rest of the tournament."

Then the 27-year-old Swiss player tweeted another message in French: "Ça fait mal... Très mal ........" or "That hurts. Really hurts."

Djokovic next faces No. 5 Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

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Associated Press Writer Jocelyn Gecker contributed to this report.

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