Fans have slammed Ash Barty's quarter-final opponent Karolina Muchova after the Czech player took a controversial medical timeout in her shock win over the World No.1 at the Australian Open.
Barty made an astonishing start to the Australian Open quarter-final on Wednesday, winning the first set against Muchova in just 24 minutes.
'WHAT THE HELL': Grigor Dimitrov's stunning mid-point walk-off
The Aussie also capitalised in the second set, taking an early break to lead 2-1.
But in a sudden move, Muchova broke down in tears at the changeover as medical officials checked her vitals.
She was then taken from court for around 10 minutes as Barty tried to stay warm on court.
Fans became frustrated when Muchova returned to court and won nine of the next 11 games, accusing Muchova of using the medical timeout as a tactic.
Some described Muchova's actions as "disgraceful", despite doctors and medical personnel checking her over.
There was no suggestion Muchova wasn't physically injured, however medical timeouts have been the source of much controversy over the years.
Oh and that's three consecutive games for Muchova.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 17, 2021
Alright this match has gotten weird.
Prior to the Medical Timeout, Karolina Muchova had 1 winner in ten games. She's had 4 in the two games since.#AusOpen
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) February 17, 2021
So Muchova takes a “medical timeout” and is now playing out of her skin.
It’s a horrible tactic #AusOpen
— Justin Dimieri (@JustinDimieri) February 17, 2021
Muchova suddenly up 3-2. Her best couple of games right after the MTO. But she seems to be in pain. Probably the abdominal injury striking again. #AusOpen
— wtaaddict 🧐 (@wtaaddict) February 17, 2021
Medical timeout finished at about 13 minutes. Barty could’ve benefited from an extra couple minutes as 15 mins or longer means a quick warm is required before play resumes. Muchova is benefiting highly from the medical timeout. #AusOpen #Barty #Muchova
— Jack Langdon (@JTLangdon_) February 17, 2021
Muchova not doing anything wrong but it’s the rule that’s crap
— LawlerKev (@LawlerKev) February 17, 2021
Muchova unfair play. Fake injury and after that absolutely ok. This is not tennis! Huge disgraceful!
— František Malý (@FrantiekMal1) February 17, 2021
Muchova then stormed away to take the second set 6-3, before winning the match to advance to the semi-finals.
Ash Barty's stunning meltdown
Barty capitulated from a set and a service break up in a shock 1-6 6-3 6-2 loss.
"I was a bit lost on the court and my head was spinning so I took a break and it helped me," Muchova said.
"I started feeling a bit lost by the end of the first set.
"Ash started very good. She played like no mistakes. It was very tough."
There was no sign of trouble for Barty early on as the top seed dropped just seven points while charging to a 5-0 lead in the first set.
Muchova took 21 minutes to finally get on the board.
Not letting up, Barty broke Muchova for a third time in the opening game of the second set to continue her utter domination.
Then the quarter-final turned spectacularly with the medical timeout controversy.
Asked if she was injured, the 2019 Wimbledon quarter-finalist said: "No. It was more they just checked my pressure because, like I said, I was a bit lost. I was spinning.
"So they cooled me down a bit with ice and it helped me."
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