Lucie Safarova was on the verge of taking the second set and the match at the Dubai Open this week, when the Chair Umpire made a doubly wrong call…
Lucie had won the first set and it was 5-5, deuce in the second set, with her opponent, Karolina Pliskova (a rising 22-year old, also from Czechoslovakia) serving. During the rally, a baseline shot was called OUT as Lucie hit the ball back.
Her opponent challenged and the HawkEye showed the ball to be IN; but instead of replaying the point, the umpire gave the point to the server.
Safarova protested, saying she had returned the ball in play (which TV replay confirmed); but the umpire said to her, “I may be wrong, but I remember your shot being out; so it is her point.”
Well, besides the fact that Lucie’s ball was in, it should have been replayed anyway based on the OUT call being made just as Safarova was hitting it back.
Wrong THREE Ways
And the third “wrong”? The TV replay also showed Pliskova watching Lucie’s shot landing clearly IN… and she said nothing. Call me naïve, but I still think that is wrong. Some people believe you should not “overrule” a call you know is not correct; but I am not one of them.
So instead of break point at 5-5, it was ad in; and the server won her game and then eventually won the second set. In the third set, Safarova was still distracted and Pliskova rolled to an easy 6-1 victory.
It is amazing how one bad call can frequently dramatically impact a match (strategically and/or psychologically) when it should not.
The saying is, “Great athletes have short memories.”
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