If you watched the US Open Women’s finals, you saw a very controversial call at the start of the first set … which almost changed the course of the match (two different ways).
Aussie Sam Stosur was playing very well, had won the first set 6-2 and had a break point on Serena’s first service game of the second set. At the end of the rally, Serena hit a hard inside out forehand to Sam’s backhand corner and BEFORE SAM HAD STRUCK THE BALL, exclaimed loudly “Come on!”
Stosur missed the ball (which she probably would have anyway); but the referee immediately called “Intentional hindrance” and awarded the point (and thusly the service break to the Aussie).
Serena complained to the chair about the call and (altho they never reported it on TV) said to the chair umpire, “You screwed me over last year. Don’t do it again.”
The crowd then strongly got behind Serena, while Stosur seemed lost out there. Serena came charging back, winning something like eight of the next ten points to get back on serve. But Stosur righted herself and regained the momentum.
But the call was one we had just been discussing in a doubles match during last week… my partner hit a very short lob and said, “Oh, it’s short. I’m sorry,” as our opponent was hitting (missing) the easy putaway.
Our opponent, Tom Diehl, who is a super nice guy, said the talking didn’t bother him and gave us the point. But the discussion followed anyway … could he have taken the point or played a let or neither?
This call tends to indicate it should have been his point.
But what talking between partners IS allowed after the ball leaves your racquet and before the opponents hit it? Can’t you say things like, “Watch your alley,” “Backup,” etc?