Tennis: Roddick berates chair umpire, then tweets apology
By JOCELYN GECKER
Associated Press Writer
MELBOURNE, Australia — Andy Roddick acknowledged he wasn’t “100 percent right” for berating a chair umpire with a stream of expletives at the Australian Open.
Roddick won his second-round match against Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday but left in a huff — without shaking the umpire’s hand. It was his second confrontation with officials in as many matches.
The call in question denied the seventh-seeded Roddick the victory on his first match point. The ball was initially ruled out, leading Roddick to believe he had won — but it was then challenged by Bellucci.
The Hawkeye system used to challenge linesmen’s calls showed the ball had bounced in, just barely, and Irish chair umpire Fergus Murphy awarded the point to Bellucci.
Roddick waited until after the match to angrily tell the umpire that he would have gone for the ball if he had known it was in.
“I’m standing there with my racket back — don’t you think I’m going to ... hit it?” Roddick shouted, adding a second profanity at the end. “It’s not your job to predict if I’m going to hit it. It’s your job to decide if I could hit it.”
Roddick closed out the match on his second match point.
Then he reviewed the incident on video — and had a slight change of heart.
“I was more wrong than I thought I was out on court,” he said in his postmatch news conference. “That being said, it was very close. To take away a match point at that juncture in a match, it’s a big call.”
“I thought I was going to be 100 percent right,” he added. “It’s definitely closer than I felt it was while I was on court.”
In his first-round match Monday, Roddick tripped over the foot of a line judge and tumbled to the ground. He then stood and reproached the judge: “Move out of the way when you see a player coming.”
Roddick, who faces Rainer Schuettler in the third round, could face a fine from the International Tennis Federation for his outburst.
Top-seeded Serena Williams was fined a record $82,500 for her tirade at a U.S. Open line judge for a foot fault in her semifinal loss to eventual winner Kim Clijsters. Williams’ outburst included expletives, finger pointing and racket waving that U.S. Open tournament director Jim Curley called at the time “a threatening manner.”
Roddick was more conciliatory on his Twitter page.
“Apologies for the language today folks hopefully most kids were asleep by the time I went off ...... my bad,” he wrote.
He also apologized for the handshake snub, saying that it wasn’t a conscious decision but something he forgot in the heat of the moment.