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‘Biggest mistake of the Australian Open‘: Furious Frenchman unleashes on chair umpire

Source: Twitter/Channel Nine

Drama erupted on Day 4 of the Australian Open after a chair umpire angered a passionate Frenchman with a difficult call on a crucial point.

Meanwhile, Aussie Sam Stosur played the final match of her women’s doubles career, and Ash Barty is rumoured to be playing a big role in this year’s women’s singles final.

And another top seed in the men’s draw looks to be in trouble, just 24 hours after the tournament lost top-ranked Rafael Nadal.

The second round match between French player Jeremy Chardy and Brit Daniel Evans on Thursday afternoon grew heated after a tricky call was made by umpire Miriam Bley.

Evans was on a break point in the second set when a ball fell out of his opponent’s pocket mid-point.

Shortly after the ball fell, Chardy hit the ball in play into the net.

And right after the ball went out of play, Bley called out ‘let’, meaning the point would be replayed.

Evans, however, argued that the ball didn’t obstruct play, and Bley decided not to replay the point.

This meant that the score went in his favour, and he was up 5-3 in the second set.

Chardy, however, was unhappy that he didn’t get a chance to replay the point.

The match was paused while he unleashed on the umpire.

“I’ve never seen that in my life. I’ve played for 20 years and I’ve never had an umpire bad like you. Not one. You don’t see a ball,” he said.

“I hit there a forehand, I go over there so it’s like five seconds and you don’t even see.”

He then pulled out some quotes that sound like they were taken straight out of Julia Roberts’ classic movie Pretty Woman. You know the ones.

“Where are you looking? Are you looking at the birds? Are you looking somewhere in the crowd? That is the biggest mistake of the Australian Open already.”

The court supervisor was eventually called on, who Chardy included in his lengthy tirade.

The heated discussion went for ten minutes, but the umpire refused to budge, with no protest from the court supervisor.

Evans then nabbed the next game, claiming the second set, and eventually also grasped the third, earning him a ticket to the third round.

When a reporter asked Chardy if umpires should face consequences for making a wrong call, he agreed.

“I mean, yeah,” he laughed.

“I mean, like, it’s what I said to her. If I miss a point, then break my racquet, I will get fined. You can do a huge mistake, and nothing will happen to you.”

But he reiterated that his frustrations lie with the umpiring and not with his opponent.

“It’s nothing against [Evans]. It’s the [umpire’s responsibility] to stop,” said Chardy.

“He could say something, but it’s not his job to stop the point. We already tried to play the point. So the umpire has only one thing to do. So, no, it’s a big mistake from her. Nothing with Dan.”

Top seed in trouble

The Australian Open men’s draw is in danger of losing No.2 seed, just one day after losing top seed and reigning champion Rafael Nadal.

Norwegian Casper Ruud was tipped as one of the top contenders for the men’s title, in the absence of Roger Federer and following Nadal’s second round defeat.

Ruud is currently down two sets to one against unseeded American Jenson Brooksby.

Brooksby seized the first two sets in 42 minutes and 66 minutes respectively, before Ruud exited court for a medical assessment.

Once returning to court, Ruud dug deep to face off Brooksby in a tiebreaker, which eventually saw Ruud take the third set after a thrilling 83 minutes.

Should Ruud lose against Brooksby, he will leave Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas as the top seed remaining in the tournament.

Tsitsipas will next meet Dutch player Tallon Griekspoor in the third round on Friday.

Stosur’s farewell tour

Meanwhile, Aussie Sam Stosur played the final match of her women’s doubles career, with emotions high at her Thursday morning outing at Melbourne Park.

Stosur attracted a large and animated Aussie crowd to KIA Arena to watch her and her doubles partner Alize Cornet play eleventh seeds Hao-Ching Chan and Zhaoxuan Yang.

The atmosphere was absolutely electric with support for the Aussie. You could feel it swell every time her name was mentioned, or when she even came near the ball. Everyone was rooting for Sam.

Stosur and Cornet were clearly hungry for a win, but it was also clear that they were there for a bit of fun.

Even in failure, with Stosur’s swing and a miss in the first set, Cornet dropping the ball in the second, and getting their wires crossed in a tense point, the tour veterans still had a good giggle.

They did, however, struggle to match their opponents’ aggression at first.

They found their intensity when they faced losing the first set, but it was already too late, with Chan and Yang going through in straight sets.

Stosur reached her career-high singles ranking of No.4 in 2011, and is world famous for beating tennis star Serena Williams at the 2011 US Open.

But Stosur also holds a decorated doubles career as a former world No.1, with a total of eight women’s and mixed doubles grand slam championships under her belt.

She announced earlier this week that she would be closing out her doubles career at this year’s Australian Open.

Stosur told friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua that it “bittersweet” to close her doubles chapter at the Australian Open.

“I feel like I’m about to cry now that I’m looking at you,” she told Dellacqua.

“It’s a bit bittersweet but thank you all for coming out today. It’s been really special,” she said.

“I love playing for you guys. A crowd like this makes it feel strange not wanting to do it anymore.”

When asked why she’s choosing to hang up her racket, Stosur said her priorities had shifted.

“You get to a point where the other things become a little more difficult,” she said.

“I wanted to finish here at home. I wanted to finish in Melbourne, and this year was it.”

Australian Open umpire

Sam Stosur on court with her daughter Evie at the 2022 US Open. Photo: Getty

Speaking of ‘other things’, Stosur is likely referring to her growing family.

She and wife Liz Astling became parents for the first time in 2020 when they welcomed daughter Genevieve, or Evie for short.

Stosur grew teary when she laid tribute to her family, who she said were her biggest supporters.

“They made lots of sacrifices when I was younger to let me follow my dreamsThey’ve been my biggest supporters. I thank them for everything I’ve been able to do.”

While many tears were being shed for the end of her women’s doubles career, Stosur will be back on court tomorrow for the first round of the mixed doubled with fellow countryman Matt Ebden.

Barty’s great honour

Newly-retired and pregnant Ash Barty may not playing in this year’s women’s singles tournament, but there is some hope yet that the reigning champ will be involved in some capacity.

There are reports that Barty has been asked to carry the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup onto Rod Laver Arena in the ceremony preceding the women’s singles final.

The Herald and The Age say they have been told that the Aussie champion has been asked to fulfil the great honour.

Tennis Australia is yet to make any announcements about its plans for this year’s women’s and men’s finals, set to take place on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 of January respectively.

Ash Barty holds the Daphne Akhurst Cup after winning the Australian Open women’s singles in January 2022. Photo: AAP

Funny celebrations

While the competition is heating up at Melbourne Park, the players are still finding time to joke around.

Second seed Casper Ruud’s unusual warm-up routine has been circulating social media, with the Norwegian seen kicking and headbutting a small soccer ball with his coach.

And two-time AO finalist Daniil Medvedev has been keeping the crowds amused with his on-court shenanigans.

After knocking out Aussie John Millman on Wednesday night, Medvedev pulled up the left leg of his shorts to expose his thigh.

A confused Jim Courier asked the tennis star to explain the move, with Medvedev clarifying that he was poking fun at the celebration of Hungarian player Marton Fucsovics.

Fucsovics, who played at Margaret Court Arena earlier that same day, had showed off his ripped physique after his win, removing his shirt and roaring out in celebration.

“Photos of Marton after his match … I think I’m just a little bit less muscles than him, so it was also to laugh about myself … I do think I have a little bit of muscles, but definitely not too much,” Medvedev told Courier.

 

Aussie blockbuster

While Millman is now out of the tournament, there’s plenty of other Aussies to look forward to on Thursday night, with appearances from Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alex de Minaur.

Kokkinakis, fresh from his victory against Italian Fabio Fognini, will take on Brit Andy Murray at Margaret Court Arena.

Should he win, Kokkinakis is looking at a relatively straight-forward path to the fourth round, with second seed Casper Ruud currently down second sets in his second round match.

The ‘demon’ de Minaur will face Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who is currently ranked 45th in the world.

And de Minaur has a good shot at making the third round, if the past is any indication.

The pair have crossed paths three times in the past, with de Minaur coming out on top in two of their three matches.

Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will also appear at Rod Laver Arena at 7pm, followed by women’s second seed Ons Jabeur.

 

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