A blatant mistake that enraged a Frenchman has reignited calls for referees to be fined. And the player doubled down on his press conference.
Fresh calls for chair umpires to be fined have surfaced after an apparent error cost Jeremy Chardy a break of serve during his second-round loss on Thursday.
Five years after Novak Djokovic declared that “officials… should be fined if they make a big mistake that changes the course of the game”, the issue has been put back on the map by the fiery Frenchman.
A ball fell out of Chardy’s pocket mid rally and two shots later he missed a forehand as the point was kept alive because chair umpire Miriam Bley failed to notice the second ball bouncing off the baseline.
The rules were clear that Bley should have called a “let,” but replays showed that her head turned to the side of opponent Daniel Evans’ court when the second ball left Chardy’s pocket.
Evans called it the “worst rule in tennis” and said players should automatically lose the point if a ball falls out of their pocket.
But after losing his serve, Chardy gave her a serve.
“In my life, 20 years, I’ve never had a referee as bad as you,” Chardy said on the pitch.
“We’re playing with someone who can’t be a referee.
“Where are you looking? Are you looking at the birds? The clouds? That’s the Australian Open’s biggest mistake.”
The delay lasted nearly 10 minutes when Chardy called the supervisor.
The 35-year-old smiled and laughed as he entered his post-match press conference – which had been expanded into a larger room and packed with 15 journalists – knowing a barrage of refereeing questions was to come.
He was prepared.
“That’s a big mistake by the referee,” said Chardy after the 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 defeat.
“I hit the forehand and the ball fell out of my pocket. He hit the backhand and I hit another forehand before she realized the ball was falling out of my pocket. I still lose a point.
“So yeah I was angry because she was supposed to stop right away and she says she didn’t even see the ball.
“I don’t know what she’s doing because she’s not going in or out.
“She just called the score and if she’s not paying attention to the point I don’t know why she’s in the chair.
“So I was pissed, and I was even more pissed when she didn’t tell me she made the mistake.”
Last year, men’s players were fined more than $125,000 – including a $17,000 (AUD) slap in the semifinals for Daniil Medvedev – and Chardy urged referees to bag, too.
“If I miss a point and then break my racquet, I’ll be penalized. You (referee) can make a big mistake and nothing will happen to you,” he said.
“Must be the same for both, right? If I break my racquet because I’m mad, why should I have a sanction and not them? For me, that’s not fair.”
Originally released as Australian Open 2023: Jeremy Chardy blasts chair umpire over phone call
https://www.codesports.com.au/tennis/australian-open/australian-open-2023-jeremy-chardy-blows-up-at-chair-umpire-over-call/news-story/edfbe83cbc7d33babad8f90de7b6a6ad?nk=453267bc138821bdb00083b97541dcc9-1674106627 Australian Open 2023: Jeremy Chardy exploded at the chair umpire