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Tennis world left fuming over 'ridiculous' match point drama at Indian Wells

The chair umpire made the controversial call on match point.

The chair umpire speaks at Indian Wells and Wu Yibing and Juame Munar shake hands.
The chair umpire (pictured left) made a controversial call on match point between Wu Yibing and Juame Munar (pictured right) at Indian Wells. (Images: @TennisTV)

The tennis world has reacted to a bizarre call from the chair umpire on match point between Wu Yibing and Juame Munar, which cost the Spaniard his Indian Wells spot. Wu defeated Munar in the round of 128 at Indian Wells after a tight 6-7, 6-0, 7-6 match that ended in spectacular drama.

At 6-3 in the tiebreak on match point, Wu hit a drop shot and brought Munar to the net. Munar reached the ball and made Wu dive to win the volley.

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The Chinese ace returned the volley for a winner, but lost control of his racquet as it hit the net. Normally this would forfeit the point as a racquet is not allowed to make contact with the net before a point is over.

However, in a bizarre call, the chair umpire deemed the point was already over as the ball had bounced twice when it passed Munar. She then called match as Wu celebrated his victory.

Munar erupted as he explained to the chair umpire that Wu's racquet immediately hit the net, before the point was over. Replays showed the racquet clearly touched the net before the ball had bounced twice, which means Munar should have won the point.

Munar explained the situation, but the chair umpire said there was nothing to be done after she had already called the match. Wu celebrated as the pair embraced at the net.

The controversial match point certainly sparked a debate. Many claimed that video replay should be provided to chair umpires if they need to check the split-timing of such calls.

Others claimed the rule was archaic and needed to change. Tennis fans pointed out that the racquet touching the net had no bearing on the point.

Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis progresses at Indian Wells

Meanwhile, Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis has continued his strong form in 2023 to pregress to the round of 64 at the BNP Paribas Open with a barnstorming straight-sets victory over American Brandon Holt. The Australian delivered nine aces in the 6-4, 6-1 win, using his serve to maximum effect.

Kokkinakis won all of his points on first serve while forcing 10 break-point opportunities, four of which he converted. Holt couldn't muster a single break point against the dominant and determined world No.94, who had to go through qualifying to get into the event.

Thanasi Kokkinakis hits a forehand.
Thanasi Kokkinakis (pictured) has set-up a clash with Carlos Alcaraz at Indian Wells. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) (Harry How via Getty Images)

In a huge battle, Kokkinakis will now get to face World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz. The Spaniard recently pulled out of Acapulco at the Mexican Open after re-injuring his leg that kept him out of the Australian Open

Stan Wawrinka also made a successful return to the tournament after four years away with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 victory. Neither Novak Djokovic or Rafa Nadal are competing at the 'fifth major'.

Djokovic was not allowed to enter the US due to his vaccination status, which has seen him miss the last two Indian Wells tournaments. The World No.1 also missed the US Open last year.

with AAP

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