Wozniacki hits out at officiating

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iol spt june3 Wozniacki

REUTERS

Caroline Wozniacki made no apologies for her behaviour on court at the French Open, even calling the officiating a disgrace after losing in the third round.

Paris – Caroline Wozniacki made no apologies for her behaviour on court at the French Open, even calling the officiating a “disgrace” after losing in the third round.

Russian player Mikhail Youzhny did take the time to express his regret to the fans at his match.

The ninth-seeded Wozniacki, still searching for her first Grand Slam title, argued several line calls in a 6-1, 6-7 (3) 6-3 loss to No. 23 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia on Saturday. And it was one particular ruling that drew the most severe comments from the former top-ranked Dane.

“It's a disgrace that mistakes like this are made,” said Wozniacki, who was broken in the third game of the second set on a ball she thought was past the baseline. “It wasn't even like, 'Could have been in, could have been out.' It was clearly out.”

Youzhny lost to sixth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 a few hours earlier on the same court. He was so incensed with his play at the start that he used his right foot to scrawl out the word “SORRi!” in the clay.

“There was a lot of people. That's why I write 'sorry.' Because I can't show them a nice game,” Youzhny said. “The way we played in the beginning, it was not really interesting for people.”

Rafael Nadal had no problems on Court Philippe Chatrier, beating Eduardo Schwank of Argentina 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 to improve his French Open record to 48-1. And Maria Sharapova completed her third straight rout, defeating Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 6-1. Sharapova has lost only five games through three matches at Roland Garros this year.

Also, 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone lost to Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 3-6, 6-3, 8-6.

The fourth round of the French Open gets under way on Sunday with top-ranked Novak Djokovic facing No. 22 Andreas Seppi and 2009 champion Roger Federer playing “lucky loser” David Goffin of Belgium. Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka will also be in action, facing No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

Wozniacki looked nothing like the player who finished the last two seasons as the No. 1-ranked woman in the world. She held serve only once in the first set, and then held to open the second. But in the third game, she was broken on a disputed point.

She called for the chair umpire to show him the spot, which she claimed as evidence that Kanepi's shot should have been called out.

Spanish umpire Poncho Ayala, however, agreed with the original call that the ball hit the line.

“How can you sit there and be so arrogant?” Wozniacki said to Ayala. “Have you gone to school?”

After coming back to win the second set, Wozniacki again argued a line call in the third.

Kanepi, who finally won on her fifth match point despite being broken four times while serving for the match, said she wasn't affected by the uproar.

“Well, I think that those things happen in tennis matches, so it's OK if she wants to argue,” Kanepi said. “I have to be ready for that and take it easy.”

The 27th-seeded Youzhny was much more remorseful about his actions on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

After winning his first game early in the second set to make it 2-1, he made his statement in the clay. Instead of heading straight for his chair for the changeover, he stopped just inside the service line to spell out his message.

A ball boy stood nearby with Youzhny's towel, and then backed off as the Russian continued drawing out the letters.

“People in the stands may not have noticed, but I think I had to do this,” Youzhny said.

Youzhny is well-known for a more painful on-court meltdown. In 2008 at the Sony Ericsson Open, Youzhny whacked himself in the head with his racket three times after losing a point. The antic left him with a thick stream of blood running from his hairline down his nose. – Sapa-AP


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