French tennis player Jeremy Chardy has blown up at an umpire for what he called “the biggest mistake of the Australian Open” and now wants to see her sanctioned.
During a rally with No. 25 seed Dan Evans on Thursday, a ball fell from Chardy’s pocket.
It was a crucial moment as Chardy was defending break point at 3-3 in the opening set.
Chair umpire Miriam Bley did not initially see the loose ball and two shots later Chardy hit into the net to lose the point.
Bley then called a “let”, which would mean the point should be played again, however, the point was awarded to Evans.
Chardy accused Bley of being the worst umpire he had seen in his career.
“Where you looking? You look at the birds or you are looking at the clouds?” he said.
Later during a press conference after losing the match 6-4 6-4 6-1, Chardy said he was “pissed”.
“I mean, it’s a big mistake from the umpire. I hit the forehand and the ball dropped from my pocket. He hit the backhand, and I hit another forehand before she realised the ball fall from my pocket. I still lose a point,” he said, explaining why he blew up on court.
“So, yeah, I was angry because she should stop straight away, and she says she didn’t even see the ball.
“I don’t know what she’s doing because she doesn’t call in or out. She just called the score, and if she doesn’t watch the point, I don’t know why she’s on the chair. That’s it.
“So I was pissed, and I was even more pissed when she didn’t tell me she made the mistake.”
Chardy said while his opponent Evans could have said something when the ball dropped, it was not his job and the onus was on the umpire to stop the point.
As mentioned in his spiel on court, Chardy said he wanted Bley to be fined for the “big mistake”.
“If I miss a point, then break my racquet, I will get fined. You (umpires) can do a huge mistake and nothing will happen to you,” he said.
“So, yeah, I think this is not fair … Has to be the same for both, no? If I break my racquet because I’m pissed, why should I have a sanction and not her?”
In his own post-match press conference, Evans said it was an “awkward situation”.
“I don’t really know what to make of what happened. I don’t really know who was in the right and who was in the wrong,” he said.
“I didn’t see it happen. It was just a pretty awkward situation.”
Evans called the rule the “worst ever” and believes if a ball comes out of player’s pocket, that player should lose the point.
“If a ball comes out your pocket, it’s your own fault,” he said.