Noted tennis hothead Barbora Strycova was at it again in the women’s doubles on Wednesday afternoon, blowing up at chair umpire John Bloom after a contentious moment in the first set.
Czechoslovakian world no.34 Strycova and partner Hsieh Su-Wei were taking on fellow Czech pair Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejčíková when Bloom allowed the latter pair a very late challenge on a Strycova shot that landed long.
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Bloom allowed the challenge despite two further shots being played in the rally, while Siniakovoa and Krejčíková hadn’t actually called for a challenge in the first place.
A furious Strycova wasn’t going to let that slide, confronting the umpire - despite replays showing her ball was long.
“You know I’m right,” she fumed before getting on with the job of dismantling her compatriots 6-2, 6-3.
Strycova is never shy about an on-court confrontation, something Hsieh seemed painfully aware of after the match.
“I tried not to get into the Czech fight,” she said.
In typical fashion, Strycova brushed off the confrontation.
“Well, at the end a little bit it was a catfight,” Strycova said.
“This is how it is sometimes.”
On this occasion though, Strycova was not without her supporters.
Some fans on social pointed out it was highly irregular for such a late challenge to be allowed.
Drama on MCA in the 2nd game of the match.— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 29, 2020
Terrible decision from Blom, allowing Krejcikova/Siniakova to ask for a challenge after hitting two other shots lol.
Strycova was rightly mad.
Strycova and Hsieh will take on Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos in the women’s doubles final.
The pair won the women’s doubles at the Brisbane International warm-up event prior to the Australian Open.
Rafa Nadal in running battle with chair umpire
With the temperature gauge still reading 31C on Rod Laver Arena when the first ball was struck, it was always going to be a war of attrition.
After losing a gruelling opening set, Nadal was incensed when chair umpire slapped him with a time violation while serving at 3-4 after a lengthy point.
"It is really amazing after this point that you put the chrono straight. It is really amazing," he fumed at umpire Aurelie Tourte.
"You don't like the good tennis. You don't like the good tennis."
Nadal was further incensed in the fourth set when the chair umpire didn’t allow him to challenge a call because he had taken too long.
“I am there (pointing to beyond the baseline) and I do not have time to get there to check it,” Nadal said, to which the umpire simply replied: “no”.
Tennis greats Todd Woodbridge and Jim Courier thought Nadal was hard done by.
“This is really going to irritate him. He is not having it,” Courier said in commentary for Channel Nine.
“Surely he’s allowed to go look at the mark. That’s ridiculous. He walked straight there to go look at it.”