Tennis

Uproar over ‘disgusting’ excuse to Aussie tennis player

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Aussie tennis star Astra Sharma (pictured) confused after the chair umpire revealed the wrong scoreline, which cost her the game. (Images: Amazon Prime)

The tennis world has absolutely blasted tennis officials after a supervisor’s ‘disgusting’ response to Aussie tennis star Astra Sharma following complaint about an umpiring blunder during her game.

Sharma was playing Copa Colsinatas in Colombia when she was one set and 30-15 up against Guilia Gatto-Monticone.

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But in unbelievable circumstances, the umpire mistakenly called the game wrong and gave Sharma’s opponent an extra few points.

Gatto-Monticone was trailing 0-30, at 1-1 in the second, when she hit the ball out.

The score should have read 0-40, handing Sharma three-break points, but chair umpire Armenta Castro scored it 30-15 to her opponent Gatto-Monticone.

Sharma then returned a serve into the net, which should have been 15-40, but the umpire read 40-15 in favour of Gatto-Monticone.

The Aussie won the next point and headed towards her chair, well aware she had won the game, but the umpire called 40-30.

“No, that’s not right. That’s not right at all. I think the players have got confused as well. This is most unorthodox,” the commentator said.

Having returned to the court, Gatto-Monticone won the next point and was awarded the game.

Sharma questioned the chair umpire’s decision, but confused herself about the score accepted the game graciously.

“This is, no – she’s been given this game. Well, it’s got me doubting myself but that should not have been the game for the Italian,” the commentator added.

“(Gatto-Monticone) leads 2-1, somehow, in set number three.”

Unfortunately, Sharma went on to lose the second set in a close contest and eventually the match after becoming rattled 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Sharma outraged at supervisor comment

After the match, Sharma took to social media to explain she was told there was no case during the match because she couldn’t remember how she won the points.

This resulted in her having to accept the incorrect score.

“This was outrageous… I was told he was not sure of the score but since I couldn’t tell him how I won the points I could not delay the match arguing with him,” she wrote.

Sharma claimed when she asked a supervisor, she was told there was no excuse and she should “learn my lesson” and not lose track of the score.

Another Aussie tennis star, Ellen Perez, jumped in to defend Sharma after the claim.

“There’s actually no excuse for this ridiculous mistake by the umpire and for the supervisor to defend it and blame the player for not focusing on the score is disgusting,” she wrote. 

“Shame on you! So sick of umpires being a contributing factor to the outcome of matches.”

The tennis world also jumped in to defend Sharma and claim the series of umpire mistakes should never have happened.

Sharma went on to explain herself in detail after many questioned why she wasn’t aware of the score on social media.

“To people saying I should have known the score, here is what happened for me: at 40-15 I thought I had won the game but when I asked the umpire he said no,” she wrote.

“I thought I miscounted since I do sometimes lose track of the score when I’m so focused, so I usually trust the ump.

“I was disoriented and confused, trying to remember what points I had won, so I mistakenly thought he was saying it was 40-30 to me, which I thought was OK, I probably miscounted one point. 

“After he called game to my opponent the next point, I knew something was wrong.

Astra Sharma (pictured) hits a backhand during the Memorial Drive on February 22, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia.

Aussie star Astra Sharma felt ‘helpless’ during the umpire blunder in Colombia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

“I knew I hadn’t lost that many points. I tried to argue with him and he said that he couldn’t remember how the points went but neither could I, so there’s nothing he could do.

“I could only recall that she missed twice long. Both he and my opponent then said I had supposedly missed 2 bh (backhand) returns and a fh (forehand) miss. I couldn’t defend myself because I want able to tell them how I won the rest of my points.

“I knew something was wrong so I asked for video replay, he said there was none. I asked to speak to the lines umpire who had called my opponents misses. He said they had rotated out and he couldn’t get them back. 

“He pressured me saying I cannot delay play if I had no proof.

“I was starting to feel crazy and doubt myself because both of them seemed to recall things I could not. I didn’t know what to do, all I could tell a supervisor was that I thought I won the game but my proof was she missed long twice.

“I felt really helpless and stupid because it would be their version which corroborated with each other against my weak one, which would at least put the score at 40-30 to my opponent, which was what was inputted by the umpire.”

Some fans also accused her opponent, Gatto-Monticone, for not showing sportsmanlike behaviour if she did indeed know the score.

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