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Medina Garrigues mentions Sharapova in spat with French Open chair umpire

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Anabel Medina Garrigues

Anabel Medina Garrigues lost to Li Na in the first round of the French Open. (Getty Images)

By Nick Zaccardi

PARIS — Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues was at the center of another odd instance in her first-round loss at the French Open on Monday, referencing Maria Sharapova in an argument with a chair umpire two weeks after her infamous ball-fluffing episode against Serena Williams.

The point in question: Medina Garrigues was broken at 4-all in the second set of a 6-3, 6-4 loss to No. 6 Li Na. She originally won the point on a ball she hit that was just wide but called in.

Li approached the chair, but there was no challenge. Chair umpire Louise Engzell reversed course anyway — after a delay of at least 15 seconds — and awarded the point to Li, announcing, “Due to an out call from Mademoiselle Medina Garrigues, she loses the point.”

The 518-page WTA rulebook mentions the Hindrance Rule on page 122. A deliberate hindrance of an opponent results in the loss of a point. Medina Garrigues yelled in frustration when she hit the ball, which clipped the net and landed way out of Li’s reach. That was enough, Engzell deemed, to award the point to Li.

The situation involving Medina Garrigues, Engzell and Li was confusing all around. ESPN2’s Pam Shriver called it bizarre, fans whistled and Li approached Engzell but was interrupted by Medina Garrigues.

“You win the point, don’t worry,” Medina Garrigues said to Li, obviously frustrated. “OK?”

Medina Garrigues then turned to Engzell.

“Sharapova is screaming like crazy, and it doesn’t matter?” she argued, among other points, referring to the sounds Sharapova makes as she follows through.

She expanded after the match.

“[Engzell] is supposed to say that when I hit the ball, I say, like, ‘No,’” Medina Garrigues said. “I think there is a rule that you can’t say that. So she decided to take out the point.

“I think it’s ridiculous. If I say ‘all,’ nothing happens. If I say ‘no,’ you take the point [from me]. But it’s part of the rules. I can say that I think it’s a little confusing rule, but it’s the rule. I have to accept. But I’m totally disappointed about what happened there because [Li] didn’t have any comprehension about the situation. Li Na wasn’t close to taking the ball. I don’t think I confused her or disrupted her.”

Medina Garrigues, the WTA’s active leader in clay-court match wins, lost to Li for the first time on clay in four meetings.

Earlier this month, she memorably became the seventh player to take a 6-0 set off Williams, in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open. Even more newsworthy, she rubbed tennis balls across her racket to gain an advantage during a changeover.

“It’s the first time I did it,” she said, laughing. “Why not? Imagination that I have in that moment. I will not do it anymore.”

The WTA made sure of that.

“They told me that I cannot do it,” Medina Garrigues said. “I did not know before [that it is not allowed], but there are a lot of players who make the ball small [by rubbing it] with the T-shirt. I think every player has a chance to try to have the ball how you want. You choose your ball because you want to have the best one for your game.”

Williams laughed it off, too.

“I don’t know if it’s right or it’s wrong,” she told reporters in Rome two weeks ago. “I’ve never had a problem with Medina. She’s always been nice to me, so I just have to assume the best that it wasn’t on purpose.”

  • Published On May 27, 2013
  • 9 comments
    dre
    dre

    Medina is just a hot mess.  That's all I can say.

    moorea537
    moorea537

    It is not about letting something go or not. In the Serena match Medina was clearly trying to get an advantage. It did not work out for her. To be honest, no one made a fuss about it at all. It is a double standard. If Serena had done it, people would have made a huge deal about it. In this case with Li. The umpire was simply wrong. Li deserved to win the point because the ball was out. But Medina did not yell loud at all. You can barely hear her. And Li was no where near the ball. The hindering rule in this case did not make any sense at all.

    johnccy
    johnccy

    Yeah, I watched the match and the way that call played out was "bizarre" as Pam Shriver called it, but the end result was the same in that Li Na won the point that she should have won.  The replay ball tracker on TV showed that the ball was clearly out, so either way, it doesn't matter.

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    that is the problem, people always want to over look what cheaters do, which empowers others to cheat when there are no consequences or repercussions. so, you drop it. anabel should have been fined or sanctioned, somehow!

    spystud
    spystud

    Courtney really seems to be bothered by something that happened 2.5 weeks ago.  She just can't let it go.  AMG didn't even win that next game, Serena didn't care, so drop it already.

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    anabel was right on about screamapova. don't think that i have heard any player opening calling out screamapova on her screaming. wonder if the WTA heard the criticism and will finally address the screamapova and vikashrieker issue, as being a hindrance!

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    bottom line, she said she never did it before, so, in that moment, she knew that she was trying to obtain an advantage. the player should never have the ball in her possession while sitting on her bench. whose idea was it to even let her have access to the balls, before it was time to serve? she knew that she "cheating", which as another commenter said she gave the "furtive", did anyone see me look?!l

    spystud
    spystud

    @cleopatra209 It's not overlooking, it's moving on. The WTA told her not to do it again, she said she won't. It didn't affect the match in the least. You & Courtney are acting like it was a point-shaving scandal or something. Very, very insignificant.

    dami1
    dami1

    @cleopatra209 blame the spanish tournament organization for giving her the balls to do it. I'm not sure they would have accepted if it was say, Kanepi, who requested the balls.