Moya out with a serve
By Linda Pearce
January 20, 2004
Carlos Moya has accused Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee of unfair and inconsiderate treatment, after the denial of his request for an extra day to recover from an ankle injury yesterday forced the seventh seed's premature withdrawal from the tournament.
Moya, with Rainer Schuettler and Arnaud Clement one of the three former Melbourne Park finalists who failed to make it past the Open's first day, suffered a second-degree sprain in Saturday's Sydney International final against Lleyton Hewitt.
By then, it had already been decided that the top half of the men's draw would be played on day one. An ATP spokesman confirmed that Moya immediately requested that an exception be made, so he would be permitted a Tuesday start. The application was denied.
"It's unfair," Moya said before leaving Melbourne Park, and seeking the first flight back to Spain to prepare for next month's opening Davis Cup tie. "If I was (Mark) Philippoussis, (Lleyton) Hewitt or (Andre) Agassi, McNamee would change his mind, for sure."
McNamee was unavailable for comment, but Tennis Australia spokesman John Lindsay said: "We had decided on which half of the men's draw would play first before Carlos had even had his injury. Even so, no one knows the extent of the injury and whether an extra day would have made any difference.
"If someone was given that extra day, and then they lost the match, their opponent would have been disadvantaged going into the next round."
Moya had tried to hit twice yesterday, heavily strapped and with intense ice treatment in between, but lasted no more than 20 minutes either time. He could not contest his first-round match against James Blake, and was replaced by lucky loser Ivan Miranda of Peru.
"I see all the physios here, all the doctors, my own physio," Moya said. "They said maybe if I could have one more day, I could have chance to play. But I (have) been unlucky because they didn't give me one more day. I'm very disappointed that I'm not able to play here. I would have loved (to).
"In two days it has improved so much. Yesterday I couldn't even walk, and today I was running. It was hurting a little bit, but that's why I say one more day, maybe it would have been perfect. The way it has improved in two days, I was very optimistic that maybe I could play tomorrow