'Never seen that': Tennis world fumes over 'absurd' umpire interruption

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Chair Umpire Marijana Veljovic (pictured left) arguing after she called a time violation as Laura Siegemund (pictured right) was about to serve.
Chair Umpire Marijana Veljovic (pictured left) called a time violation as German Laura Siegemund (pictured right) was about to serve. (Images: Getty Images/@Tennis)

French Open surprise package German Laura Siegemund and commentators were left fuming at the chair umpire after a time violation was called in the middle of her serve action.

Petra Kvitova powered past unseeded Siegemund 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the French Open.

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The 30-year-old seventh seed, a two-times champion at Wimbledon, reached the last-four stage on the clay courts at Roland Garros for the second time since 2012 and has yet to lose a set at this year's tournament in Paris.

Siegemund, ranked 66th in the world, did not pose a challenge in the opening set but gave a good account of herself in the second despite suffering a lower-back problem midway through the set.

But at deuce at 2-2 in the second, Siegemund became frustrated with the chair umpire in a crucial moment.

As she was serving and raised her arm to toss the ball, chair umpire Marijana Veljovic called a service clock time violation.

Siegemund held her pose, to show the umpire she was in the middle of her service action, and said: “I had my arm up.”

“I was in the middle of my serve.”

She proceeded to argue with Veljobvic and was eventually broken in the service game.

Commentators fume at Siegemund time violation

This prompted Eurosport commentators Annabel Croft and Chris Bradnam to slam the umpire for the ‘wrong’ timing.

“I'm still fuming about that situation we've just seen,” Croft said a few minutes after the time violation.

“I've never seen an umpire... either she had her eyes down on her stopwatch and wasn't noticing that the player was actually midway through her serve.

Laura Siegemund plays a backhand during her Women's Singles quarterfinals match against Petra Kvitova.
Laura Siegemund plays a backhand during her Women's Singles quarterfinals match against Petra Kvitova. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“She has had to stop her service motion, and now you are going to delay it even more because you have stopped her just before her serve.

“So what was the point of that? Her arm was already up and she was already putting the ball in the air.

“I’ve never seen that before. I really hope this umpire has a look at that, actually maybe even makes a statement because I think she totally got that wrong.”

Fellow commentator Bradnam added: “I think that was absolutely absurd and completely unnecessary.”

Fans also agreed the timing was unfortunate.

Despite the interruption, Kvitova was dominant and went on to convert her second match point when her 32-year-old opponent served a double fault.

The Czech will meet the winner of the all-American clash between Danielle Collins and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin for a place in the final.

with AAP

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