'I will sue him': Footage emerges of tennis star's mid-match walk-off

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Damir Dzumhur was defaulted from the Mexico Open after a stunning tirade directed at the chair umpire over a call he disputed. Pictures: ATP/Getty Images
Damir Dzumhur was defaulted from the Mexico Open after a stunning tirade directed at the chair umpire over a call he disputed. Pictures: ATP/Getty Images

World No. 125 Damir Dzumhur has denied launching a death threat at an umpire during a furious meltdown at the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

The 28-year-old, who achieved a career high ranking of 23 in 2018, was incensed after a line call he disagreed with when he was serving at 5-5, 40-all in the first set against Botic van de Zandschulp.

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Dzumhur dropped his racquet in frustration before approaching the umpire to dispute the call, to no avail.

He then went on to lose the service game, and remonstrated again with the umpire to the point where he was given a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The penalty did little to calm the Bosnian player who, despite hitting a forehand winner on the next point, continued to talk to the umpire which led to a point penalty.

Dzumhur then launched his racquet at the bench, bumped fists with van de Zandschulp before signalling he was ending the match.

He could be heard shouting at the umpire afterwards and continued to remonstrate with officials for several minutes before leaving.

The loss extended his losing streak to 13 matches, and making matters worse for the 28-year-old was tennis fans speculating on Twitter that he could be heard saying 'I will kill you' to the umpire.

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Dzumhur denied this when asked about the incident later on.

“I honestly do not know where some websites have found the information about me threatening that I would kill anyone,” he was quoted as saying to Bosnian reporters, according to TennisMajors.

“It is true that I have said to the supervisor that I felt the need to hit the umpire because of what he has done to me. Supervisor suggested that it was not such a great idea, that I could further damage myself

“I have answered that I do not care since I was nervous, but I did manage to regroup myself and leave the court.

“I have not threatened that I would kill anyone, I do not know where that came from, especially since there is video footage of the whole thing.”

Damir Dzumhur apologises for 'emotional' Mexico Open outburst

Dzumhur said he was telling the umpire he was going to 'sue' him over the disputed call, fuming that the decision 'directly influenced my loss'.

Answering questions after the match, Dzumhur insisted he 'chose to leave the court voluntarily', and that he wasn't disqualified, however the official result lists him as having defaulted.

“I have told him at the changeover that I can and that I will sue him because he directly influenced my loss,” Dzumhur said.

“He gave me a warning for saying that. I do not know how anyone has the right to give me a warning for those words. I got up, but I was already very upset.

Damir Dzumhur denied levelling a death threat against the umpire after a furious tirade resulted in him being defaulted from the Mexico Open. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
Damir Dzumhur denied levelling a death threat against the umpire after a furious tirade resulted in him being defaulted from the Mexico Open. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

“I won the first point of the next game and then I have made another comment, I cannot remember exactly what at this point; but the umpire told me ‘it is enough’. I answered that it was not enough and that I will decide when it is enough.

“Then he gave me the second warning, meaning a point penalty.

"In my head I felt that the huge injustice is being done to me, I could not control myself any more since I was extremely nervous about the whole situation. I reiterate - I have left the court, I was not disqualified.”

The 28-year-old also apologised to his family for 'behaving emotionally' and 'not showing strength'. 

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