‘The Clock Goes So Fast’- Rafael Nadal Calls Out Chair Umpire for Insufficient Time During Games

Published 01/18/2022, 12:32 AM EST

Rafael Nadal, the 35-year-old Spaniard, is entering his 22nd season since turning professional in 2001. In what has been an illustrious career thus far, the former World Number 1 has won an astonishing 20 Grand Slam titles. He is known for his fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude.

However, his passion for the game has sometimes caused altercations and arguments with match officials. One such incident occurred during his first round tie in the Australian Open against the American, Marcos Giron.

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What did the Spaniard say to the umpire?

During his first-round encounter, Rafael Nadal wasn’t happy with the speed at which the serve countdown clock was being reset. Subsequently, he let this be known to chair umpire Fergus Murphy. During the mid-game break, while leading 4-1 in the first set, the sixth-seeded said, “I think between games, the clock goes so fast. We have to go for the towel, it’s impossible.” 

The Spaniard was referring to the time the two players got for the mid-game interval. He felt that the serve countdown clock was being reset before the players actually went for the interval. Further, when the chair umpire, Fergus Murphy, signaled ‘time’ and called the players to return to the court, Nadal said, “you know, we don’t have any more of the ball boys.”

However, this incident didn’t hamper Nadal’s march towards the second round of Australian Open 2022. He breezed past the American 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to seal the contest in an hour and 49 minutes. He will next take on qualifier Yannick Hanfmann. The German had earlier defeated the Australian, Thanasi Kokkinakis, in straight sets to enter the second round.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 17, 2022 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his first round match against Marcos Giron of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Rafael Nadal on his comeback

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The Spaniard was asked about whether this comeback was harder than others at a press conference following his first-round victory. The 35-year-old said that when you are getting older, every comeback is tougher. He felt that this was especially difficult, with restrictions regarding Covid-19 in place.

ROME, ITALY – MAY 12: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts to a missed point on day 5 of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Jannik Sinner of Italy at Foro Italico on May 12, 2021 in Rome, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Further, he added that after 7-8 weeks of lockdown, everything was worse. He was referring to his foot injury, which had flared up after a relative period of inactivity.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Stars To Watch Out For at the Australian Open 2022  

Nadal will be looking to lift his second Australian Open title this year. He previously won the Grand Slam Down Under way back in 2009. Can Nadal make history at the ‘Happy Slam’? Do let us know your views in the comments below.

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Vatsal Shah

821 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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