By Simon Evans
MASON, Ohio (Reuters) - Britain's Andy Murray, who lost his Cincinnati Masters quarter-final to American Mardy Fish Friday, was disappointed that tournament organizers had given him three consecutive starts in the midday heat.
Murray, who won in Toronto last week, has played eight games in 10 days, all of them between noon and three p.m. local time. The on-court temperature Friday was more than 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).
After Thursday's win over Latvian Ernests Gulbis, Murray asked organizers if he could be given a later slot.
"If you ask for a late match and you're put on first, that's not...that's pretty...," said Murray, hesitating and picking his words carefully. "I don't ever request really when to play. I don't make many demands at all during the tournaments."
The world number four said organizers had told him he needed to start at midday as Fish was playing in the doubles competition later Friday.
"They said that because Fish had to play doubles they wanted us to play early. But I'm not sure, the way the tennis works, I don't think matches should be scheduled around the doubles because it's the singles that's on the TV," the Scot told reporters.
Murray left the court after the first set, which he won on a tie-break, to cool down in the locker room and received medical attention before returning and losing the second 6-1.
He said he had he considered calling it quits but had been determined to keep on until the end.
"You always try and finish matches. I think I've pulled out of maybe one match, two matches out of over 300 or something on the tour.
"It does cross your mind a little bit when you're kind of struggling like that. But the doctor and the physio did a good job with the ice and cooling me down a little bit."
Fish was dismissive of Murray's complaints.
"As far as the heat's concerned, I'm sure he'll go through times where he's playing a night match every time and he's thinking, 'Man, I'd like to be done and go to dinner at a decent hour.'
"So I can understand where he's coming from, but what can you do? It's bad luck for him today anyway. He maybe could have asked a couple days ago for a later match if he played someone that's not in the doubles. I mean, there's nothing they could do today," he said.
"Physically (this week) will have been very good for me before the U.S. Open. I'm going to be fresh when I get there, but I've played three long matches, two to 7-6 in the third, and another three-setter in the first round was definitely beneficial.
"I just would have liked to have been given a better opportunity to recover."