British player Cameron Norrie has called out the chair umpire's rare call of 'hindrance' during his epic victory over Benoit Paire at Roland Garros. Norrie was up against a raucous crowd on Court Suzanne-Lenglen with the tennis fans getting behind the hometown hopeful
And things became heated in arguably the best match of round 1 when Norrie had a point taken away for hindrance. The match was a in a pivotal stage at 1-1 and Norrie serving at 30-30.
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Norrie hit a shot and claimed he grunted. However, chair umpire Nico Helworth claimed Norrie had yelled, 'Yeah' after his forehand.
"I consider what you shouted now as hindrance," Helworth told Norrie. "The ball was still in play, that is what it sounded like to me."
This didn't sit well with the British player who argued that he was grunting. "I just grunted. No?" Norrie said. However, Helworth wasn't convinced.
"You didn't grunt before. For me that sounded like you said, 'yeah', he added. "I might be wrong, but..."
Paire went on to break and take the second set after Norrie's momentum was halted. The incident baffled viewers with many attempting to work out what the chair umpire heard that could be seen so serious as to penalise Norrie a point.
Listening back to it, that seems *incredibly* harsh on Cam Norrie.#RolandGarros
— James Gray (@jamesgraysport) May 29, 2023
What did I just witness in the Paire vs Norrie match??? 😂😂. Hindrance call on Norrie on a ball that was on his side of the net & very clearly out but he said “Yes” literally right before it hit the dirt. Worst hindrance call I’ve seen since Serena back in the day. #RolandGarros
— Hance (@SirHanceAlot) May 29, 2023
And there is the 2nd set for Paire. Norrie got an awful hindrance call earlier in the set and being the good guy he is, didn’t challenge the umpire #RolandGarros
— PG (@pathikgamana97) May 29, 2023
Man, Cameron Norrie was done dirty there. Horrendous hindrance call from the chair. #RolandGarros
— James Wells (@jameswells51) May 29, 2023
Cameron Norrie hits out at hindrance call
Following the match, Norrie addressed the drama and said he couldn't quite work out why he was penalised at such a crucial time. "I didn't know why he called it. I think Benoit thought it was for him. I think both of us were confused. It was for sure a grunt," Norrie said.
"It was a big point, 30-all, I don't know why he thought it was necessary to get involved there...it was a big point and it ultimately changed the momentum of the match. It was strange. He must have thought I had said something. For me to get involved there was absurd."
Standing ovation for Benoit Paire.
This is his crowd, his home, his family.
As turbulent as his career has been, they’ve been there with him through every minute of it.
No one understands Benoit better than them.
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 29, 2023
Despite the loss, the French crowd rewarded Paire's five-set effort with a huge applause after the match. Norrie will now face another Frenchman in Lucas Pouille in the second round.
Cameron Norrie angers Novak Djokovic
Norrie has recently courted drama in Italy after he whacked Novak Djokovic with an overhead smash when the World No.3 had hit back turned at the net. This prompted an angry response from Djokovic after the match.
"I did watch the replay when he hit me," Djokovic said after the match in Rome. "Maybe you could say he didn't hit me deliberately. I don't know if he saw me. Peripherally you can always see where the player is positioned on the court. The ball was super slow and super close to the net. I just turned around because the point was over for me.
"It was not so much maybe about that, it was maybe about that, but it was maybe a combination of things. From the very beginning he was doing all the things that were allowed.
"He's allowed to take a medical timeout. He's allowed to hit a player. He's allowed to say 'come on' in the face more or less every single point from basically the first game.
"Those are the things that we players know in the locker room it's not fair play, it's not how we treat each other. But, again it's allowed so..."
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