x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Tomas Berdych 'shocked' after chair umpire makes wrong call in Dubai

Czech loses to Scottish world No 4 but not before an argument between player and chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani in last game of quarter-final.

Tomas Berdych, right, has an argument with the chair umpire in Dubai on Thursday.
Tomas Berdych, right, has an argument with the chair umpire in Dubai on Thursday.

DUBAI // A Hawk-Eye-related controversy, that tennis quirk born of technology, jazzed up Andy Murray's 6-3, 7-5 quarter-final win over Tomas Berdych on Thursday.

During a laborious final game in which Berdych withstood six match points, the Czech had earned himself a break point, but it turned troublesome.

Murray served, the linesman called it long, Berdych whacked it into the net and Murray challenged. The big screen upheld him, and the argument sprang from that.

In the chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani's judgement between awarding the point to Murray and ordering a replay, he chose the former for deuce, and Berdych chose to visit the chair to rant.

"He is the best referee on tour," the No 7 Berdych said afterward. "I never had anything like that with him.

"Actually, I was so shocked when he said this one."

In cases of clear aces, chair umpires award points. In cases of contact, there is murkiness.

"I mean, I just hit the ball into the net because I heard it out, then he cannot give a point to him," Berdych maintained. Instead, Lahyani told Berdych he could not reverse the judgement once made, and Berdych grew baffled. "I've never seen that," he said.

Murray benefited but backed Berdych, calling the onus on the chair umpire "a bad rule" and advocating replays except after aces.

"I think it should be" the rule, he said, "because it takes any controversy out of it if you touch the ball."

"But," he added, explaining the difficulty of the issue, "sometimes guys stretch their racket out."

cculpepper@thenational.ae