Controversial Call Sparks Social Media Debate

By Erik Gudris | Thursday, June 10, 2021

The thrilling end to the Barbora Krejcikova and Maria Sakkari women’s semifinal at Roland Garros was almost marred by what turned out to be an incorrect ruling by the umpire.

Though it didn’t necessarily change the outcome of the match, it did reignite the debate on if clay court tournaments should use electronic line review.

More: Krejcikova Saves Match Points, Reaches RG Final

Late in the final set, Krejcikova held a fourth match point leading 8-7 in the final set. During the rally, Sakkari’s shot landed close to the baseline. When the linesperson called it “out”, Krejcikova started celebrating what she thought was the win.

Yet, the umpire, checking the mark, declared Sakkari’s shot as “in”. The point was replayed with Sakkari winning it later, sending the game to deuce.

Unofficial review, used only in television, showed that Sakkari’s shot was indeed out. However, Krejcikova eventually went on to win 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 to reach her first major final.

When asked about the call, Krejcikova herself did not think it impacted the outcome of the match.

“At that moment I was just like, Well, it’s out, but what can you do?” Krejcikova said. “The chair umpire, he has seen it as in. What can I do? I cannot do anything about it. I cannot call anyone, change his decision.

“I was like, Okay, well, it’s fine. Doesn’t matter. Just let’s go. Because it was replay the point, just let’s try to win the next one. I kind of, like, got relieved that it’s over. They called it. He came. He’s like, No, it’s in. I’m like, No, no, no.”

“You just have to put everything together and just keep working, next one, next one, next one. I mean, as I said on the court, even if I lost this match, I think I just wasn’t able to do anything different, anything more. I would be still very proud of myself, what I actually did, how I played.”

The call, and lack of official review, inspired many players and commentators to weigh in on the subject.

“I almost wonder if he (the umpire) got the wrong mark there,” Lindsay Davenport on Tennis Channel said, especially as the ball mark was 19 millimeters from the line.

“The court is so chewed up, we’re at the tail end of the deciding set, we’ve played 15 and some games here, so it is very, very difficult,” Jason Goodall added.

While the other Grand Slams (Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon) employ some kind of electronic line call review system, Roland Garros does not.

Largely due to officials being able to see a mark on the surface, and the discrepancies such marks cause with the technology, electronic reviews are not always 100 percent accurate on clay.

Krejcikova will face off against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the women’s singles title on Saturday.

Photo credit: @Roland Garos

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