'Not right': Ash Barty at centre of 'disgraceful' Wimbledon furore

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·Sports Editor
·6-min read
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Ash Barty and Ajla Tomljanovic, pictured here after advancing to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Ash Barty and Ajla Tomljanovic will face off in the Wimbledon quarter-finals. Image: Getty

Tennis fans and pundits have lashed out at Wimbledon officials over the scheduling of Ash Barty's fourth-round match against Barbora Krejcikova compared to that of Ajla Tomlljanovic and Emma Raducanu.

Tomljanovic set up an all-Aussie quarter-final clash with Barty on Monday when Raducanu was forced to retire hurt for medical reasons.

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Tomljanovic and Barty will now both have to back up and play their quarter-final on Tuesday, however a baffling scheduling decision means Barty will have much more time to recover.

Wimbledon officials scheduled Barty and Krejcikova for 1pm local time on Monday, with the match finishing at 2.42pm. 

But instead of putting Tomljanovic and Raducanu on court at the same time or shortly after, officials scheduled them for the last match of the day on Court 1.

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Zverev then played out a marathon five-setter that lasted over four hours, meaning Tomljanovic and Raducanu didn't get out on court until 7.59pm.

With the match wrapping up near 9.30pm, Barty had around seven hours longer to recover than Tomljanovic.

Even more baffling is the fact that Auger-Aliassime now gets a day off before playing his quarter-final on Wednesday.

New York Times writer Christopher Clarey wrote on Twitter: “Clearly a tactical error to schedule Raducanu & Tomljanovic for 3d on No. 1 Court. 

"FAA & Zverev into a 5th set so won’t start until 7.30pm or later. Women must turn around tomorrow & play quarterfinals. Barty, who will play the winner, already in the clubhouse for ages. Not right.”

Emma Raducanu, pictured here in action against Ajla Tomljanovic at Wimbledon.
Emma Raducanu was forced to retire from her match against Ajla Tomljanovic at Wimbledon. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Fellow tennis writer Ben Rothenberg tweeted: “Ash Barty finished her fourth round match at 2:42pm on Court 1. The match to determine her opponent tomorrow, Raducanu-Tomljanovic, is yet to begin on Court 1, still waiting for this fifth set of FAA-Zverev. 

"Fairly baffling to put the men’s match between those two. Very odd not to frontload the women’s matches more on today’s schedule considering they all come back to play their quarter-finals tomorrow.”

George Bellshaw of The Metro wrote: “Looking like a shocker from Wimbledon scheduling Emma Raducanu’s match last on Court 1.”

While Zenia D’Cunha tweeted: “Wimbledon really should’ve known that FAA & AZ won’t actually be straight sets in the fourth round. So unfair to whoever next faces Ash Barty.

“Of course it was a prime time TV call … but it’s also unfair knowing Barty has played already & women don’t get a break.”

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Tomljanovic sets up all-Aussie clash with Barty

Tomljanovic reached her first-ever grand slam quarter-final - but she achieved the milestone in a way she would not have wanted as her British teenage opponent had to pull out of the match with a breathing problem.

Tomljanovic was 6-3 3-0 ahead in their last-16 clash on Monday when the 18-year-old Briton, having called for the trainer, had to go off court to be treated for a problem with breathlessness that appeared to have cropped up at the start of the second set.

Raducanu was not well enough to return to the court - the most unfortunate end to what had been the most professional of performances from the Australian No.2 to beat Britain's new teenage show court darling.

"I am actually shocked because Emma must be hurt if she came to the decision to retire," Tomljanovic told the No.1 court crowd.

"I am really sorry for her, I wish we could have finished it. I am wishing her all the best.

"I thought I found my groove although Emma was hurt and not at her best, which kind of explains it."

Earlier, Barty let out an uncharacteristically loud roar of delight, overjoyed at reaching the last-eight for the first time while providing an unhappy ending to the fairytale run of French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.

"Being in the quarter, I'm happy, I'm excited," smiled Barty after her 7-5 6-3 victory over the Czech, who'd seemingly forgotten how to lose a tennis match until Barty's skill reacquainted her with the sinking feeling on No.1 Court.

"It's another stepping stone for me, another first, I suppose. 

"It's going to be a new scenario, one that I'm going to look forward to and enjoy no matter what.

"Certainly happy with the way things are going. It's a stepping stone to what is kind of one of my biggest dreams. We just keep chipping away..."

with AAP

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