Tennis world left fuming over 'ridiculous' match point drama at Indian Wells
The chair umpire made the controversial call on match point.
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.
Pretty clear tennis should start incorporating video replay review. Now that there’s often only one official on court at a time thanks to automated line calling systems, unrealistic to expect them to see everything. https://t.co/CucJZrBoVu
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 9, 2023
This is why I think RealBounce + line judges is superior to Hawkeye live.
Realbounce video based sys can be further expanded for this type of situation.
— Ratazana (@Ratazana) March 9, 2023
First change this ridiculous rule, then adopt video review
— Wojtek Szkutnik (@wojtekszkutnik) March 9, 2023
Such a rare occurrence. Is it really necessary?
— Alessandro Fanelli (@redmanhsl) March 9, 2023
The racquet is literally touching the net. In. Front. Of. Her.
— Troy Mounakis (@TroyMounakis) March 9, 2023
Allot going on here for the umpire to follow.
It’s one case where the cameras have a much better view of the overall incident than the umpire ever could.
Humans can’t look 3 places at once.
— Richard Ings : 🇷🇺 stop attacking 🇺🇦 (@ringsau) March 9, 2023
That rule should be amended for instances where it has no effect on the point. Can't believe it's still a thing.
— Guini (@guini66) March 9, 2023
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.
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.
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