'Looks like J-Lo': Chair umpire steals the show at Australian Open

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Marijana Veljovic, pictured here at the Australian Open in 2020.
Marijana Veljovic looks on at the Australian Open in 2020. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Marijana Veljovic is once again the talk of the tennis world after her battle with Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open on Wednesday night.

Fans flocked to social media to commend the way Veljovic kept her composure as Kyrgios raged about having serves called ‘lets’ when he believed they had travelled way over the net.

‘APPALLED’: Anger over 'disgusting' Aus Open crowd act

WOW: Notorious bikie boss spotted at Australian Open

Kyrgios vented his frustrations at Veljovic every time the net technology pinged one of his serves, even though there was nothing she could do about it.

“It’s bulls***, look at the score,” Kyrgios said to Veljovic.

“It’s ruining the game. It’s ruining the game.

“You don’t understand it’s f***ing one-all in the fifth set.”

Veljovic hit Kyrgios with a point penalty after he smashed a ball at her umpire’s chair, and showed leniency not to deduct him a whole game when he subsequently swore at her.

Fans were full of praise for Veljovic’s handling of the tricky situation, while also pointing out her uncanny resemblance to a certain pop star.

Veljovic also went viral during the 2020 Australian Open after a heated argument with Roger Federer.

Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard took to Twitter full of admiration for the Serbian umpire.

“The umpire in this roger/tennys match is super pretty,” Bouchard tweeted.

And she was also at the centre of controversy at the US Open when German tennis great Boris Becker commented on her looks.

“I have to say, the umpire is extremely pretty,” Becker said in commentary for EuroSport Germany.

“You eat with your eyes.”

Social media users condemned Becker’s comments as “creepy” and “disgusting”.

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here arguing with Marijana Veljovic at the Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios argues with Marijana Veljovic during his second-round match at the Australian Open. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Kyrgios’ running battle with chair umpire

Earlier on Wednesday night, Kyrgios had clashed with Veljovic about the let farce.

“Turn the machine off, it’s ruining the game, you’ve gotta understand me,” he said.

“It’s missing the net by that much. How do you not understand that? Did you turn it off?

“Turn it off. I’m not playing until you turn it off. It’s this far off the net.”

He then expended in his post-match press conference.

“Having technology like that, you sound like an idiot trying to argue against it,” he said.

Marijana Veljovic, pictured here talking with Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open.
Marijana Veljovic talks with Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“But even when (Humbert) was serving, it was literally this far (gestures with his hands to indicate about 20cm) over the net and the net thing went off.

“I was like there’s no chance this was accurate. If you have a device where you can turn down the sensitivities, I just think there’s too many variables.

“I don’t know. I don’t have the solution … maybe they need to upgrade their technology.”

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.