line judge

Hingis Plays First WTA Match, Federer Plays First Match in Japan, Koubek DQed – On This Day in Tennis History

From the October 4 chapter of the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.TennisHistoryBook.com)

1994 – Future world No. 1 Martina Hingis of Switzerland, two weeks past her 14th birthday, makes her professional debut with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Patty Fendick in the first round of the Zurich Indoors. The Hingis debut comes after a celebrated junior career where she becomes the youngest player to win a major junior title at age 12 at the 1993 French Open and earning the world No. 1 junior ranking the next year with wins at the junior French and Wimbledon. Says Hingis of her debut match, “The first time is always difficult. But I didn’t have anything to lose, and I enjoyed it toward the end especially.” Hingis goes on to lose to Mary Pierce of France 6-4, 6-0 in the next round.

2007 – Austrian Stefan Koubek is disqualified from his second-round match with Sebastien Grosjean at the Metz Open in France when he uses inappropriate language in an argument with tournament referee Thomas Karlberg. With Koubek leading 5-7, 7-6, 4-2, the Australian left-hander argues with Karlberg over the ruling to replay a point due to a linesperson being unsighted and missing a call. Says Karlberg, “On the first point of the seventh game, on Grosjean’s serve, a Koubek forehand close to the baseline gave a 0-15 advantage to Koubek, but the umpire realized Grosjean was in the way of the line judge, who was therefore unable to judge the point. In this case, the rule is to replay the point. Koubek disagreed and asked for the supervisor’s intervention. He did not want to accept the rules and used strong language. I told him the match was over and asked the umpire to announce it.”

2007 – Roger Federer plays his first ever match in Japan, defeating Serbia’s Victor Troicki 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) in the first round of the AIG Japan Open in Tokyo.

1986 – Pat Cash wins 16 of 20 games played and defeats Tim Mayotte 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the completion of a rain-postponed match to give Australia a 2-0 lead over the United States in the Davis Cup semifinals in Brisbane, Australia. Mayotte begins play leading Cash 6-4, 1-2. Cash the pairs with John Fitzgerald in the doubles match, and nearly puts away the Americans by an insurmountable 3-0 margin, but darkness postpones their match with the ad-hoc U.S. doubles team of Ken Flach and Paul Annacone, with the Aussies leading 10-8, 6-1, 5-7. Annacone, in his Davis Cup debut and what ultimately becomes his only Davis Cup playing experience, substitutes for an injured Robert Seguso.

Bizarre Ending To Serena Williams’ US Open Title Defense

NEW YORK — Serena Williams excited the US Open in unprecedented fashion Saturday night as she was issued a point penalty on match point for threatening a linesperson who had just called a foot-fault on her. Williams, the defending champion, lost to Kim Clijsters 6-4, 7-5 upset victory to unseeded, unranked mother Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who will face No. 9 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the final.

With Williams serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, she faulted on her first serve. On the second serve, a line judge called a foot fault, making it a double-fault. That made the score 15-40, putting Clijsters one point from victory.

According to the Associated Press, Williams, in a fit of anger, screamed to the linesperson, “If I could, I would take this (expletive) ball and shove it down your (expletive) throat.”

She continued yelling at the line judge, and went back over, shaking her racket in the official’s direction.

Asked in her postmatch news conference what she said to the line judge, Williams wouldn’t say, replying, “What did I say? You didn’t hear?”

“I’ve never been in a fight in my whole life, so I don’t know why she would have felt threatened,” Williams said with a smile.

The line judge went over to the chair umpire, and tournament referee Brian Earley joined in the conversation. With the crowd booing — making part of the dialogue inaudible — Williams then went over and said to the line judge: “Sorry, but there are a lot of people who’ve said way worse.” Then the line judge said something to the chair umpire, and Williams responded, “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious? I didn’t say that.” The line judge replied by shaking her head and saying, “Yes.”

Williams already had been given a code violation warning when she broke her racket after losing the first set. So the chair umpire now awarded a penalty point to Clijsters, ending the match.

“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.”

When the ruling was announced, Williams walked around the net to the other end of the court to shake hands with a stunned Clijsters, who did not appear to understand what had happened.

“I used to have a real temper, and I’ve gotten a lot better,” Williams said later. “So I know you don’t believe me, but I used to be worse. Yes, yes, indeed.”

Lost in the theatrics was Clijsters’ significant accomplishment: In only her third tournament back after 2 1/2 years in retirement, the 26-year-old Belgian became the first mother to reach a Grand Slam final since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon 1980.

“The normal feelings of winning a match weren’t quite there,” Clijsters said. “But I think afterwards, when everything kind of sunk in a little bit and got explained to me about what happened, yeah, you kind of have to put it all in place, and then it becomes a little bit easier to understand and to kind of not celebrate, but at least have a little bit of joy after a match like that.”

Clijsters hadn’t competed at the U.S. Open since winning the 2005 championship. Now she will play for her second career major title Sunday against No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-3, 6-3 in the other rain-delayed women’s semifinal.

Full coverage from social networks and other news organizations can be seen and linked below….

SERENA INCIDENT ON YOUTUBE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm-Mj0vjJ_s

ESPN.COM COVERAGE – http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4468470

SERENA’s POST MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE – http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2009-09-12/200909121252748398140.html

RICHARD DEITSCH OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED – http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/richard_deitsch/09/13/serena.meltdown/?eref=T1

SERENA’S “OTHER” FOOT FAULT – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jtLUtcL-D8&NR=1

FILIP BONDY OF THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/09/13/2009-09-13_serena_williams_exit_from_us_open_semifinal_match_is_no_cause_to_cheer.html

BILL DWYRE OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dwyre-us-open13-2009sep13,0,5348697.column?page=1

MIKE LUPICA OF THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/09/13/2009-09-13_unlike_derek_jeter_mariano_riveras_greatness_cant_be_tied_to_a_number.html

MARK BERMAN OF THE NEW YORK POST – http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/tennis/serena_bounced_after_court_tirade_ITh1PwYKOmkm1Mw90NqHHI