The umpire involved in Novak Djokovic’s US Open disqualification has astonished tennis star Daniil Medvedev and his Kazakh opponent, leaving them laughing after the top seed was handed a penalty for talking during a point.
World number two Medvedev was initially reprimanded by chair umpire Aurelie Tourte for appearing to engage her in a friendly argument during play.
While the game was still in progress, she again intervened to explain why she had given the Russian contender the bizarre penalty.
“I called hindrance because you spoke during the point,” stated the chair umpire.
On the other side of the net, Alexander Bublik then asked who was guilty of speaking, which prompted Medvedev to own up.
“He is laughing at you,” Medvedev said to the official regarding the penalty.
Medvedev shared footage of the farcical incident on Twitter following his victory, with the star warning that popular clips provider Tennis TV would pick up on the comedy incident.
“Can you imagine how stupid this call is?” he asked Bublik, before writing afterwards: “Just going to stay silent here.”
Trailblazing Frenchwoman Tourte is no stranger to fiery altercations. The highly experienced adjudicator was on duty when world number one Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open in September, standing at the center of deliberations that lasted ten minutes after the Serb accidentally hit a line judge with a ball he had swatted away.
Tourte also drew the wrath American great Serena Williams by handing her a time violation at a tournament last August.
Daniil asking the umpire if he’s supposed to change his underwear somewhere in the corner where everyone can see when he’s not allowed to have a toilet break. He said he wouldn’t mind btw ? #medvedev#NBO21pic.twitter.com/XvBLQ1sos0
— Tennis GIFs ?? (@tennis_gifs) August 10, 2021
Medvedev: stops the match, tells Bublik, “I almost slipped on the return.”Aurelie Tourte: dries the lines with a towel, says to ballkids doing the same, “Just finish this one and center service line and we are good.”Thirty seconds later: pic.twitter.com/VTuFhsMMc5
— Oleg S. (@AnnaK_4ever) August 10, 2021
“I mean, I’m getting my own towels,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion told Tourte at a subsequent changeover.
“That’s not fair. You should tell me on the sidelines next time if I need to play faster. Believe me, I will… you didn’t even give me a warning.”
Medvedev recovered from losing the first set to win the best-of-three against the opponent he beat in straight sets in the first round at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games last month.
Post-match, Medvedev claimed that the rain delay “helped a lot” in his reversal of fortunes after losing the first set.
“I don’t know if the conditions changed with the humidity, but I was not playing well before the rain,” he added, again experiencing somewhat extreme conditions after suffering in the intense heat during his Olympic campaign.
“I had my opportunities. I was missing second-serve returns, missing balls. I knew I had to play better if I was to win.”
Serena Williams v chair umpire Aurelie Tourte after being issued a time violation: I’m getting my own towels, that’s not fair. You should tell me on the sidelines next time if I need to play faster. You didn’t even give me a warning. I’m actually a really fast player…” pic.twitter.com/82z2xvbJXj
— Biola Solace-Chukwu (@Beeorlicious) August 26, 2020
“When back on the court, from the first game I felt much better. I only felt better and better during the match; he did not have one break point [after the rain].
“I turned around the match completely. It is a tough draw, even without Rafael Nadal. It does open up the draw, for sure,” he finished, on the tournament overall.
In the tunnel before the showdown, flamboyant Medvedev was caught carrying out unusual stretches to get ready behind a perplexed Bublik.
Tennis TV responded to the footage with a caption that there are “two types of people”. “Whatever works for you,” quipped back Medvedev.
Also on rt.com
From protests and crashes to diplomatic incidents and Covid, here are some of the Tokyo Olympics’ craziest, most memorable moments