'What's next?': Player's baffling excuse for breaking Aus Open toilet rule

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Barbora Krejcikova protested to the chair umpire that she had dropped her necklace during her five-minute toilet break, leading to a code violation for taking too long. Pictures: Channel 9
Barbora Krejcikova protested to the chair umpire that she had dropped her necklace during her five-minute toilet break, leading to a code violation for taking too long. Pictures: Channel 9

Much has been made of the WTA and ATP's new rules regarding toilet breaks during matches, and on day four of the Australian Open Barbora Krejcikova became the first player to run afoul of the regulations.

New rules mandated players can only leave the court for a toilet break for a maximum of three minutes, with an additional two if they opt for a change of clothes.

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The 26-year-old Czech star left the court for eight minutes at the end of the second set of her match against Jelena Ostapenko.

Krejcikova was handed a code violation for her troubles, with an obviously irritated Ostapenko left to wait patiently for her return before commencing the third set.

Though she ultimately had no problem moving through to the fourth round with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Ostapenko, her excuse for the lengthy delay left some fans gobsmacked.

“You know why? Because I broke my necklace. I had to pick it up," she Krejcikova was heard telling the chair umpire upon her return.

“And I’m getting a time violation. What’s next?”

Fans and commentators were unimpressed by the excuse, with Channel 9's Chanda Rubin pointing out that a necklace 'shouldn't be an excuse' for nearly doubling the original allotted time.

Toilet breaks became a point of contention during the US summer swing in 2021, with both Krejcikova and Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas coming under fire for taking the breaks in an effort to stall an opponent's momentum.

Krejcikova was slammed by rival Garbine Murguruza during the 2021 US Open after the she took a toilet break down 5-6 in the second set.

Murguruza labelled Krejcikova 'unprofessional' in the wake of the controversy, while Tsitsipas attracted the ire of Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev for similar shenanigans.

Krejcikova to face resurgent Victoria Azarenka in Aus Open fourth round

Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka has upped her bid for a third Australian Open crown with a brutal third-round dispatch of Elina Svitolina.

Azarenka blasted past the 15th seed 6-0 6-2 in 67 minutes to be the first player through to the Open's last 16.

"I feel like I played really well tactically and that really never let her into the game," Azarenka said.

"She's a great competitor and I tried to stay on top of her as much as possible and not let her breathe in a way.

"That was my goal before the match and I feel like I executed that well."

Champion at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013 before taking time off to have her son Leo - now aged five - Azarenka has serious hardcourt credentials.

Victoria Azarenka has stormed into the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she will face Barbora Krejcikova. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)
Victoria Azarenka has stormed into the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she will face Barbora Krejcikova. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

The Belarusian has also reached three US Open finals, most recently two years ago when she beat Serena Williams before falling to Naomi Osaka in the title match.

Azarenka could potentially meet Osaka in the semi-finals and thwart the Japanese titleholder's own quest for a third Open triumph in Melbourne.

First she'll need to get past French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova on Sunday after the fourth-seeded Czech needed three sets to overcome Jelena Ostapenko 2-6 6-4 6-4.

Fifth seed Maria Sakkari enjoyed a much smoother passage to the last 16, downing Russian Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 6-1.

With AAP

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