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Storm Hunter at centre of ugly tennis ruling in Dubai tournament

The Aussie was left baffled when speaking to both her opponent and chair umpire.

Chair umpire speaks and Storm Hunter serves.
The tennis world has questioned a point handed to Storm Hunter's opponent after the Aussie stopped mid-rally because of an outside call at the Dubai Tennis Championships. (Images: @WTA)

Aussie tennis star Storm Hunter has been left bewildered after she lost a point at the Dubai Tennis Championships after she thought a 'let' call from another court was directed at her serve. Hunter followed up her strong Australian Open form - which saw her reach the third round - to qualify for the main card in Dubai.

And the 29-year-old was up against Russian Anna Kalinskaya in the first round of the tournament when drama struck. A break of serve down, Hunter needed to hold to stay in the set. And upon serving, a let call could be heard around the outside court.

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Kalinskaya returned the shot directly at Hunter and the Australian just sliced the ball back to the ball girls and boys. She then went to collect another ball for her two serves believing the serve was a let. Although, Kalinskaya approached the chair umpire and suggested it wasn't a let and she had won the point.

The chair umpire agreed and spoke to Hunter and told the Australian he had not called let. Hunter looked confused as the announcement from an adjacent court had prompted her to think it was a let.

"A little bit of confusion here...that is difficult, it does happen," the commentator said. "Storm Hunter obviously heard something she thought he had said." There was more confusion as Hunter then spoke to the chair umpire over what just happened and why the point couldn't be replayed.

Hunter then asked Kalinskaya if she was wanted to accept the point, even though she won it due to a mix-up. And Kalinskaya said she did want the point and moved into position for the next point. Hunter ended up losing the game and went on to lose the match in straight sets.

While the incident is rare in tennis, fans were all in support the 'let' call from the other court was off putting for the Australia. Most agreed either Kalinskaya should have showed sportsmanship and allowed a replay of the point, or the chair umpire intervened.

Storm Hunter enjoys strong Australian Open campaign

Hunter enjoyed a breakout summer having made it into the third round of the Australian Open singles draw, before falling to Barbora Krejcikova in the third round. She was up a set against the World No.12, before falling in a thriller. Her campaign came to an end when she was knocked out of the women's doubles in the semi-finals.

Hunter was ranked as the World No.1 in doubles, but her Australian Open exit has seen her drop to World No.3. The 29-year-old is currently 8-2 in singles competitions this year as she looks to improve her ranking to inside the top 100.

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