Frenchman Jeremy Chardy has unloaded on an Australian Open chair umpire after a contentious incident in his second round loss against Dan Evans. The Brit was too good for Chardy in a convincing 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 win that was overshadowed by the French player's fiery run-in with chair umpire, Miriam Bley.
Controversy erupted in the opening set after the French player was broke for a second time, having responded with one break of his own on Evans' serve. Chardy was livid after a ball dropped out of his pocket mid-rally, before he hit a forehand into the net to hand Evans the point.
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The umpire shouted "let" after the point ended but Evans claimed he did not see or have any complaints about the ball falling out of his opponent's pocket. The Brit went 5-3 up after the chair umpire decided not to replay the point, sparking an explosive reaction from Chardy, who insisted the rules stated that the point be replayed.
"I've never seen that in my life. I've played for 20 years and I've never had an umpire bad like you. Not one. You don't see a ball, the Frenchman said to Bley. "I hit there a forehand, I go over there so it's like five seconds and you don't even see.
"Where are you looking? Are you looking at the birds? Are you looking somewhere in the crowd? That is the biggest mistake of the Australian Open already."
The crowd gathered at Court 3 quickly began to grow restless as the supervisor was called on to the court to settle the dispute. Chardy refused to back down and repeatedly referred to the umpire as "she" as he pleaded his case with the supervisor.
Chardy even told the supervisor that he didn't trust the chair umpire and asked if she could be replaced. “If you don’t confirm that I called let I lose all respect for you. She’s lying," he claimed about Bley.
Eurosport commentator Nick Brown described Chardy's pleas to the supervisor as a "pointless discussion" during his analysis of the incident. "The supervisor was always going to go with what the umpire's decision is. He's going to back her up no doubt about that," he said.
"Watching the replay of the point, Chardy hits his shot, the ball drops out of the pocket so she called a let after he hit the ball and then realised she missed it so then kind of corrected herself "In my opinion it's a pointless discussion because you are never going to win that argument. In fact he [Chardy] was lucky he was not given a code violation."
“Can she have a fine? When we do something bad we are fined, can she have a fine? It’s a huge mistake, we play with someone who cannot umpire?”
Contentious incident leaves tennis world divided
While many viewers insisted that Chardy's reaction towards the umpire crossed the line, others said he had every right to be furious after claiming the official had made a big mistake. The incident certainly left the tennis world divided on social media.