Rafael Nadal snapped at Aussie Open chair umpire after time violation: 'You don't like the good tennis'



Rafael Nadal famously takes his time on the court with several pre-match and pre-serve rituals that he insists help him focus. Sometimes, it ticks his opponents off, and other times, the chair umpire will cite him for a time violation.

And in his upset loss in the Australian Open quarterfinals to Dominic Thiem, he had a couple tense exchanges with the chair umpire, Aurelie Tourte, about taking his time during the tense match in the blistering heat. (Temperatures were pushing 90 degrees in Melbourne on Wednesday, though their match began in the evening.)

In the first set, Nadal — whose lone Australian Open win was in 2009 — felt he was being rushed and didn’t have enough time to cool down, despite air conditioners being attached to the players’ benches, as Australian news site News.com.au noted.

Trying to explain his clear frustration, Nadal said to Tourte (who is not shown in the clip below), via Nine’s Wide World of Sports, which broadcasts the tournament in Australia:

“It’s like I’m in the shower,” Nadal could be heard saying over the court mic.

“I can’t get there that easily.”

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But the most notable spat with the chair umpire came a little later.

After Nadal dropped the first set in a tiebreaker, he was up 3-2 in the second one and serving when Tourte cited him for a time violation for taking more than the 25 seconds allowed before serving. However, Nadal’s beef with that was that the previous point he and Thiem played was a long rally of 19 shots, and he argued Tourte should have used her given discretion to start the clock later than she did to give them a break.

Arguing with her, Nadal called her time violation call “amazing” after the point they just played and said, “You don’t like the good tennis.”

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Then in the fourth set — Thiem was up, two sets to one, and serving — Nadal took a moment to investigate where Thiem’s ball hit before challenging. He eventually did challenge it, and Tourte rejected it, saying, “It’s too late, Rafa.”

As it turned out, had the challenge been allowed, Nadal would have been wrong anyway. But the Australian broadcasters seemed as baffled by Tourte’s decision on this one as he was.

These tense exchanges with the chair umpire follow earlier incidents in the Australian Open with Nick Kyrgios receiving a time violation and calling the umpire “stupid,” and Roger Federer getting a obscenity warning for cursing in German.

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Via OverwatchWire


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