Victoria Azarenka lost her cool and ripped the chair umpire on Wednesday during her first loss of the year.
Azarenka’s 18-match winning streak to begin 2013 ended with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 loss to 24th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova in the second round of the Madrid Open. The world No. 3 unraveled after blazing through the first set, as Azarenka dropped the last five games of the match and hit 41 unforced errors overall.
Azarenka’s frustration boiled over in the third set and umpire Mariana Alves took the brunt of it. In the first point of the seventh game, Azarenka sent a slice forehand long and smashed her racket in disgust. Alves gave her a code violation for racket abuse. Unbeknownst to Azarenka, it was her second code violation of the match (she received a code violation for an audible obscenity earlier), meaning an automatic point penalty and a 30-0 lead for Makarova. An incredulous Azarenka lashed out at Alves.
“Are you kidding me? I didn’t say anything,” Azarenka argued, referring to her first code violation for an audible obscenity. “What are you talking about?”
Unconvinced by Alves’ explanation, Azarenka continued: “You got to be kidding me. You got to be kidding me! How are you still on the bench? After all you’ve done, how are you still in the game?”
Azarenka could have been referring to Alves’ controversial history. The Portuguese umpire was in the chair during the infamous 2004 U.S. Open quarterfinal between Serena Williams and Jennifer Capriati. That match is remembered for an incorrect overrule by Alves that went against Williams (who received an apology from the USTA afterward) and other inaccurate line calls that she did not overrule. The match helped spur the implementation of the Hawk-Eye instant-replay system in tennis.
Here’s video of Wednesday’s incident: