The 2018 season was filled with ups and downs, surprises and cliches and also a lot of controversial moments. Today we take a look at some of the controversial moments that took place in the Tennis World this year.
5. Nick Kyrgios(US Open)
Nicak Kyrgios has always been the entertainer, and a magnet for controversies and fines. The young Australian hot head, who is no doubt talented, has often been caught in unwanted situations, because of his temper and immaturity. However, this time it was the chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, who was made the scapegoat.
A strange incident transpired at the US Open in the second round of the men’s singles, when Kyrgios was trailing by a set and and a break in the second. The chair umpire, stepped down to have a word with Kyrgios, and was overheard on the on-court microphone, to encourage Kyrgios. This of-course is not allowed in tennis, and created a ruckus.
“I want to help you. I want to help you,” Lahyani was heard saying. “I’ve seen your matches, you’re great for tennis. Nick, I know this is not you.” Nick Kyrgios called for a medical timeout shortly after that, and turned the match on its heels, winning in four sets. Kyrgios did defend the umpire, that in no way did he offer any coaching or help him to win. “It didn’t help me at all, it’s so ridiculous”, said NIck Kyrgios. “He wasn’t coaching me at all. I don’t have a coach, I haven’t had a coach for years. Of course he wasn’t coaching me. What are you talking about?”
4. Alize Cornet(US Open)
Another incident from the US Open, this time in the women’s singles section, where in a bizarre incident Alize Cornet was issued a code violation for changing her T-shirt in the middle of a point. The French WTA star, in her very first round at the US Open, realized that she had worn her T-shirt backwards, and quickly took it off and wore it straight again. However, she received a code-violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. This left Cornet perplexed and sparked an outrage on the social media. Andy Murray’s mother Judy Murray, also joined in the protest, calling out at the different standards for men and women.
Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break. Had her fresh shirt on back to front. Changed at back of court. Got a code violation. Unsportsmanlike conduct….. ?
But the men can change shirts on court. https://t.co/sCN4KDXYTb
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) August 28, 2018
The US Open later apologized to Alize Cornet, with the official statement being- “All players can change their shirts while sitting in the player chair. This is not considered a code violation. We regret that a code violation was assessed to Miss Cornet yesterday. We have clarified the policy to ensure this will not happen moving forward. Fortunately, she was only assessed a warning with no further penalty or fine.”
3. Roger Federer(ATP Finals)
Roger Federer lost his semi-finals match, to a superb display of aggressive tennis by the German youngster Alexander Zverev. However, the match ended in a controversial manner, as the majority of the crowd booed Zverev, after Federer was asked to replay the point in light of a ball being dropped on to the court by a ball-boy.
Federer was leading 4-3 when Alexander Zverev stopped in mid-rally after a ball slipped from a ballboy’s hand and came in his line of vision. When the point was replayed Zverev served up an ace, which looked to be a turning point in the match, as he managed to finish Federer off in the tie-break. Zverev was booed and heckled during his post-match on-court interview, and the poor youngster, was left speechless, in-front of a jam-packed house overflowing with Federer fans.
2. Fernando Verdasco(Shenzhen Open)
The Spanish powerhouse Fernando Verdasco, was another player who was surrounded by social media outrage, for apparently mistreating a ball-boy, at the Shenzhen Open. Verdasco was seen gesturing to a ball-boy to hurry up, and bring the towel quickly in-between points. This sparked an outrage on social media, with people suggesting that ball-kids must not be doing the chores of players.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) September 29, 2018
Fernando Verdasco defended himself, and lashed out at the social media for making a big deal out of nothing at all.
“It looked like I hit the ball boy, I punch him in the face or I tell him something so rude, but I was just talking fast. Obviously my reaction with the arms was the thing that looked so bad, but it was never my intention to be rude or disrespectful”, said Verdasco.
“I love ball-boys, I always tell them thank you when they help me over fifteen years of my career and maybe one time when I did a bad gesture everyone was killing me.”
1. Serena Williams(US Open)
The incident that takes the cherry on the cake, is of-course the big one. Serena Williams, caused ripples at the US open Women’s singles finals, when she berated the chair umpire, going as far as calling him a “thief”, when she was given a code violation for coaching. The issue, did not end there, as she ended up breaking her racquet, wherein she was docked a point off the scoreboard. Meanwhile the youngster, Naomi Osaka watched in horror as the drama unfolded on the other side of the court. She however, kept her cool despite the controversy, and dispatched her idol, to claim her maiden Grand Slam Title.
The issue however, did not die out quickly, as this was not the first time that Serena had caused problems with the officials. Her coach admitted later on that he was indeed coaching Serena, which was quite contrary to what Serena had said. The issue did not die down as Serena refused to back away from what she did and said. Lot of players then commented on the issue and the whole issue was properly blown out into a fully-fledged controversy, with fans and players either taking Serena’s corner or the umpire’s.
The US Open tournament referee fined the former world No.1 US$10,000 for the “verbal abuse” of Ramos, as well as $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for smashing her racket.