'Half as long but twice as cute' – why did Murray say he takes 'kitten naps'?

  • Posted: Sep 04, 2019
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

If you found yourself wondering why Andy Murray talked about “kitten naps” and why Karolina Pliskova said game, set and match was time to “do the cabbage patch”, then all has become clear.

Several tennis players have dropped unusual statements into news conferences over recent weeks, baffling reporters more used to the “they played well” answers.

It turns out several top players had agreed to a challenge set by US talk-show host Jimmy Fallon.

“I used to take cat naps but now I take kitten naps, which are half as long but twice as cute,” Scot Murray said with a straight face when asked about his tournament preparations.

Meanwhile, when asked about 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, fellow American player Madison Keys answered somewhat bafflingly: “I think Serena is so good at just knowing how to use every part of the kayak.”

After talking about his training, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas declared deadpan: “Slap your dad and call him Brad.”

Comedian Fallon told The Tonight Show: “No-one knew that we were doing this. It’s bizarre, but it’s so good.”

Even world number ones Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka got in on the act, both uttering the same words of wisdom to perplexed journalists during the US hard-court season: “When the score was deuce, the juice got loose.”

So, now the cat’s out of the bag, we’ll know any more strange statements really are just genuinely strange statements.

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