A controversial call by an umpire lit a fire under Alison Riske-Amritraj that resulted in an explosive temper tantrum for the ages on day five of the Australian Open.
The doubles match on Court 2 was marred by the confrontation that saw umpire Nico Helwerth and another match official harangued by Riske-Amritraj and her Czech partner Linda Fruhvitova.
The pair blew up deluxe during the second set when the American fired a ball at the body of her opponent before apologising.
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Riske-Amritraj could be heard saying “sorry” before Helwerth awarded the point to Alexandra Panova and Natela Dzalamidze.
The infringement for hindering came at a crucial time with the game at its third deuce.
“Ladies and gentlemen due to the hindrance Ms Riske-Amritraj has created, the point goes to Dzalamidze/Panova,” said Helwerth.
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The umpire appeared sympathetic to Riske-Amritraj and Fruhvitova but stuck to his guns.
“That’s the rule,” he added.
“She said ‘sorry’ while the ball is in play. I know she doesn’t do it on purpose, but that’s not the point.”
Fruhvitova put her case forward that Riske-Amritaj only apologised after the ball hit her opponent’s body, which video replays appeared to back up.
Riske-Amritraj continued to plead before asking for the match supervisor, who she also began to berate.
“What the hell is he doing up there then? That’s F—— ridiculous,” said Riske-Amritraj.
“No, no, that’s ridiculous. Is he sleeping? Dude. I wouldn’t say sorry (before the point is complete).
“It hit her so I said sorry. So it’s my point.”
The supervisor offered, “He’s seen it differently and it’s the umpire’s job to see it.”
Riske-Amritaj continued her tantrum, diving into a sarcastic rant.
“That makes no sense. Dude. Oh, the way you see it? The way you see it? I’m sure you see it that way.
“That’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Pay attention. Dude, that’s tennis 101.”
Riske-Amritraj and Fruhvitova lost the second set but rebounded to win the match 7-6, 4-6, 5-7.
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