Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has blown up at an umpire during his stunning Round of 16 loss at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday.
The world number one was up against Italian 16th seed Lorenzo Musetti in the third round and looked set for quarter-final meeting with another Italian Jannik Sinner.
The Serbian had won the first set and was making his way to a 4-3 lead in the second before an incorrect call sent him spiralling to a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 loss in a rain-affected match.
Djokovic clashed with the umpire when a Musetti forehand appeared to have flown too far, but she ruled it had touched the line and awarded the point to the Italian.
Musetti appeared to look guilty as if he felt the shot had gone long, with the commentator also initially saying: “I thought it was long.”
Djokovic immediately disagreed with the call and chair umpire Aurelie Tourte rushed to the spot to point out the mark on the clay court where she believed the ball had landed.
“For me it’s just there, that’s the only mark,” Tourte told Djokovic.
“Where?” he replied.
The pair then went back and forth inspecting the court in great detail to clarify where exactly the ball had landed but the umpire was not willing to change the decision.
“For me it touched the line, it touched the line here,” Tourte said.
But the Serbian was adamant the ball was out: “Where? Where is the mark? You are not showing me the mark?”
“That’s here. For me that’s where the ball bounced, that’s all I have,” she responded.
Fans inside the stadium began to boo and whistle, as Djokovic continued to bend down inspecting the area where the umpire had indicated the ball landed with Tourte eventually saying she could not identify the mark he was pointing at.
“I don’t have any other mark and I asked him (the line umpire) and he doesn’t have it either… I asked him to show me and he doesn’t,” she said.
Replays shown later, including hawk-eye, technology to determine if the ball went out, showed Djokovic was right and the ball did in fact land a few centimetres long.
Fans immediately took to social media to call out the incorrect call, claiming Djokovic had been “robbed” by the umpire.
“Djokovic robbed, umpire screwed it up bad,” one wrote.
“A very unkind and unsporting crowds. not fair and also the umpire taking points away, I feel for Djokovic,” added another.
A third commented: “Umpire had no right to call that in the Djokovic match. She didn’t even have a mark! To be so stubborn. ATP needs to investigate! ATP Monte Carlo is a top event and these refs shouldn’t be apart of it.”
Some fans noticed Djokovic was visibly affected by the clash with Tourte and he later snapped a racquet during a break between games.
He never recovered in the match, eventually losing the next two sets to the Italian.
After the match, the Serbian admitted he was devastated by the loss.
“I don’t think it’s catastrophic, but my feeling is bad right now because I lost the match,” Djokovic said.
“That’s all. Congrats to my opponent. I move on.
“Well, (I’m) feeling is terrible after playing like this, honestly. But congrats to him. He stayed tough in important moments, and that’s it. That’s all I can say. Good luck to him.”
News Source: www.skynews.com.au