PARIS (Reuters) - Victoria Azarenka called for a “damn review” of tennis rules after falling foul of what she perceived to be a terrible umpiring decision in her French Open fourth-round defeat by Serena Williams.
Former world number one Azarenka was one set up on the red clay but facing a set point in the second when she drove a forehand on to the baseline with too much power for the American to handle.
Williams argued that there was a late call of ‘out’ and although the umpire inspected the mark and found that Azarenka’s shot was good, the point was replayed, much to the Belarussian’s annoyance.
The current world number one took full advantage, snatching the set before going on to win the match 3-6 6-4 6-2.
Azarenka did not look for excuses but urged officials to look into the situation.
“Sometimes we need to have a review...a damn review because it was so clear. That was so damn clear that you cannot make these mistakes at this level,” she told a news conference.
”Because I‘m not saying this as an excuse or saying because of that point I lost the match, that’s not what I‘m saying. But in that moment if you don’t have a review it’s causing a lot of problems.
“This rule that is an umpire’s call, I don’t get it. How would you call that? She already hit the ball.”
The Hawk-Eye system, which allows the players to ask for a review of a point, has been enforced on all surfaces but clay where umpires rely on the mark the ball leaves on the red dirt.
“We have Hawk-Eye so might as well just have that because it’s not easy for an umpire. But it’s definitely not easy on the player when you get screwed like that,” said Azarenka.
Editing by Tony Jimenez