Santiago Giraldo of Colombia was involved in a very unusual circumstance in his first-round US Open match Tuesday against Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
Playing on Court No. 7 at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center, Giraldo was disgusted in his play, trailing two sets to love and a service break in the third set. After he committed an unforced error, Giraldo smashed his Babolat racquet to the hard court surface, where it bounced over the 10-foot fence landing in the shrubbery that lined the back of the court. The racquet was out of reach for the Colombian Davis Cupper and he had to go to his bag sitting courtside and pick up another stick to play with.
After receiving a code of conduct warning for the abuse of his racquet, Giraldo finished the game and then grabbed a lines person’s chair and stood on it to reach and grab the bounced racquet.
In the corresponding photos, note Giraldo’s racquet sitting in the shrubbery in the middle of the back of the court and him retrieving it with the linesperson’s chair. Lopez went on to win the match 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
NEW YORK – Suddenly, too suddenly, Kim Clijsters was back in the women’s singles final at the US Open. She had, it seemed, just loaned out her title for a few years.
But while the Belgian mother earned her semifinal victory on the court Saturday night, the final point in her battle against Serena Williams came when the defending champion was given a point penalty at match point for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Clijsters appeared stricken by the sudden end of a match that had been delayed by rain for more than 24 hours.
“I don’t think she actually understood it was a point penalty, which meant that I lost that point, which meant that I lost the match,” Williams said.
Williams trailed 4-6 5-6 15-30 when she served a fault. On her second serve, a foot fault was called, taking Clijsters to double match point at 15-40.
As she started to the line to begin her next serve, Williams turned and said something to the baseline judge who had called the foot fault. Not content with that, the tournament’s second-seeded player then walked over to the left side of the court, wagging her finger and heatedly talking to the linesperson.
Umpire Louise Engzell summoned the linesperson to the chair and asked what had been said. Then she summoned the tournament referee Brian Earley. After a consultation that included the player, Williams, who earlier in the match had been assessed a code of conduct warning, was given a point penalty.
Because it was match point, Clijsters advanced with a 6-4 7-5 victory.
“She was called for a foot fault, and a point later, she said something to a line umpire, and it was reported to the chair, and that resulted in a point penalty,” Earley explained. “And it just happened that point penalty was match point. It was a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.”
“It’s unfortunate that a match that I was playing so well at to end that way,” Clijsters said. “I still – to this point I’m a little confused about what happened out there because I was so focused. You know, just trying to win that last point for me.
“So then things ended up ending a little bit different than I expected.”
Clijsters will be heavily favored to win her second straight US Open women’s singles title – the last was in 2005 – when she faces ninth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark on Sunday night. Wozniacki advanced with a 6-3 6-3 win over another Belgian player, Yanina Wickmayer.
They were finally able to get some matches played on Saturday despite a steady nearly day-long rain. That was much better than Friday, when the entire program was washed out by rain.
Earlier Saturday, Rafael Nadal completed his 7-6 (4) 7-6 (2) 6-0 quarterfinal victory over 11th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.
The match began on Thursday before rain halted play with Nadal leading 3-2 in the second set tiebreak. After waiting all day Friday, the pair finally made it to the court early Saturday afternoon.
Gonzalez lost both of his serves to begin play, giving Nadal a 5-2 margin. And when the third-seeded Nadal won the next two points on his own serve, he had a 2-0 lead in sets.
Nadal then raced through the next six games in 31 minutes, aided immensely by 21 unforced errors by Gonzalez, who finished the match with 59 errors against 37 winners. Nadal, on the other hand, had only 20 winners, 11 coming on his fearsome forehand, but committed just 13 unforced errors.
“I get like afraid maybe in the tiebreakers,” Gonzalez said. “I went for it. I think I did a good play, miss one. The next play I miss another one, then I miss another one.
“What else can I do? I try my best.”
The men’s semifinals are scheduled to be played Sunday, with the forecast for sunny skies and warm temperatures. Nadal will take on sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, while Roger Federer, seeking his sixth consecutive US Open men’s singles crown, will meet fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic.
“He’s good. I think he’s a complete player,” Nadal said of del Potro. “I try to be ready to put one more ball than the rest.”
Clijsters beat Venus Williams in the fourth round and became just the second player to defeat both Williams sisters in the same US Open. The other was another Belgian, Justine Henin, who beat Serena in the quarterfinals and Venus in the semifinals in 2007. Henin, who went on the stop Svetlana Kuznetsova in the title match, has since retired.
Clijsters is riding a 13-match winning streak at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. She won the women’s singles in her last visit to Flushing Meadows, in 2005. An injury stopped her from defending her crown in 2006, then she retired early in 2007, got married and gave birth to a daughter.
The US Open is only her third tournament since she returned to the tennis tour.
“I’ve spoken before about what for me was really important in Cincinnati and Toronto and those tournaments was knowing that I was capable of competing with those top girls,” Clijsters said., “I think that’s where I kind of made a click, but I never really expected to be beating Venus and beating Serena. You try and you try to bring your best tennis, but, no, I mean, you don’t expect things to be going this well this soon.”
She also is the first wild card entry to reach a US Open singles final. Jimmy Connors received a wild card in 1991 when he reached the semifinals at the age of 39.
And Clijsters is trying to become the first mother to win a Grand Slam tournament since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon in 1980.
New York, N.Y. (July 23, 2009) — The Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League has announced additional reprimands for the on-court incidents involving members of the Washington Kastles and the New York Sportimes during a match on July 16 in Washington, D.C.
Following a League investigation, including review of the video and the umpire’s report, the League issued fines to the Kastles and Sportimes for the unprofessional conduct of several players – Leander Paes, Rennae Stubbs and Olga Puchkova from the Kastles; and John McEnroe, Robert Kendrick and coach Chuck Adams for the Sportimes. In addition, Puchkova and Kendrick received individual fines for their actions. Puchkova was fined for leaving the bench to come onto the opponents’ side of the court and verbally confronting another player. Kendrick received a fine for his unsportsmanlike conduct when he hit a serve at the Kastles’ Leander Paes as he stood at the net while Paes’ partner was set to receive serve.
Previously the League had fined and suspended Sportimes Coach Chuck Adams for one match for violating the Coaches’ Code of Conduct.