Lost in the reporting of Virginie Razzano’s huge upset of Serena Williams at the French Open were the multiple Noise Hindrance calls made by chair umpire that almost turned that match the other way.
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe many players (sometimes, including me, Joe McAleer and Phil Shapiro!) can make too much noise while striking the ball. Have you ever watched and LISTENED to a match between Sharapova and Azerenka?!
They are too loud and distracting with their screeches; and should be called for Noise Hindrance. But, in my opinion, Razzano’s sounds did not come even close to that level. So why was she called on them?
And how about the timing?! After an early match warning, the 29-year-old French player was crushing Serena in the deciding third set and serving at 5-1, 30-30 … when Umpire Asderaki called her for excessive noise and awarded the point to Serena. Razzano went on to lose that critical game – and the momentum.
And then Razzano was again serving for the match at 5-3, 30-30; and was AGAIN called and lost the point. She survived that penalty during an incredible 24-minute final game for the match upset.
Most avid sports fans feel that the referees (in all sports) should “swallow their whistles” in the last few minutes of a game. Sure, all flagrant fouls should be called; but when it comes down to crunch time and the game is going to be decided, it should be by the players and not the referees.