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Roger Federer’s fights with umpires

Roger Federer’s fights with umpires

Roger Federer is highly regarded by players and fans alike to be one of the calmest and cool players on the tour. A testament to this fact is that he has won the Stefan Edberg Sportsman award 11 times.

But sometimes during his career, the heat of the moment has caught up with the 17 time Grand Slam champion as illustrated by the Dismantling of his racquet at the 2009 Indian Wells Final.

In this article, we look at the few occasions when Roger Federer got into fights with umpires.


1. Roger vs Mohamed Lahyani (2011 Madrid masters)

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Match situation: In this high voltage clash with Rafael Nadal, contrary to all expectations took the first set 7-5 at Rafa’s home ground in this Madrid masters semifinal. In the second set, Rafa leads 1-0 (on serve) and roger is serving at 30-40.


The Incident: Nadal hits a heavy topspin crosscourt forehand to Federer’s backhand. Federer immediately stopped play as there was no call from the linesman. Roger Federer had already circled the mark. But the umpire Mohamed Lahyani on reaching the spot claimed that the mark was a different one, the one which had clipped the line. Roger stated that there was no way that this was the mark. On Lahyani’s reminder that the line judge had called it good, Roger rudely replied: “You think he has a clue?”.

Federer followed the umpire to his chair and on being told by the umpire that he too saw the ball good, Roger retorted by claiming that “you (Mohamed Lahyani) don’t see it good”(since the ball landed on the far sideline). Ultimately the point was given to Rafael Nadal. TV replays using the Hawkeye technology (which are not used in clay court matches) showed that the ball was good.


Aftermath: Roger Federer lost the match 5-7 6-1 6-3 losing 10 of the 14 games after the incident. In the post-match press conference, Federer admitted that the decision had an effect on the match.

“If it goes my way it’s obviously huge, if it goes his way it’s huge, Look, at the end of the day I don’t know how it was. I don’t care anymore, it’s in the past.”

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