Monday, June 4, 2007

A Brief History of Bad Umpires

It seems as though the Sharapova-Schnyder match up yesterday has brought about a couple days worth of history lessons. Not only did the girls continue the 9-7 trend, but so too did the chair umpire continue a trend in the women's game for making poor decisions at key moments in tense moments. All which came at respective majors.

Case One
Maria Sharapova versus Patty Schnyder
4th Round - 2007 French Open
At 7-all in the third, Sharapova led 30-0 serving and vaulted a first serve onto Schnyder's side when the Swiss put her hand up mid-motion, letting her opponent know she was not ready because of crowd noise. But Sharapova would have nothing of it, and neither would the chair judge, Kader Nouni of France, awarding the point to the Russian, and - seemingly - the match.

Case Two
Venus Williams versus Karolina Sprem
2nd Round - 2004 Wimbledon
You all remember 2004, when Venus Williams struggled with Karolina Sprem in the 2nd round of Wimbledon. Sprem had taken the first set and the second was in a tie-break when Ted Watts, chair umpire for the match, called the score 2-2, ignoring a lines woman's call and mistakenly giving Sprem an extra point. The mistake was no doubt embarrassing, but would give Sprem an extra chance to fight back, and, eventually beat Venus 8-6 in the breaker.

Case Three
Jennifer Capriati versus Serena Williams
Quarterfinals - 2004 US Open
It was a couple months later when a weary Serena, remembering the Venus incident, argued with the chair umpire, Sandra de Jenkin, about a ball she overruled on the opposite sideline. Capriati would win the match later in the third, 6-4.

Oh, and I never made the connection that it was indeed Ms. de Jenkin who also made the infamous Henin-pressured overrule during the 2004 Aussie Open final. Jeez Sandra, 0 for 2.


Troy said...

You'd think in a Slam they could hire someone else besides Mr. Magoo's kooky relatives.

But seriously, I still get fired up from the Capriati/Serena match. I don't know why J.Cap did not concede the point, she plummeted on my personal rankings after that.

Good post.

Nick McCarvel said...

I love how the Sprem-Williams video is titled "Sprembledon". I wish I would've thought of that.

switz said...

it was not Sandra De Jenkin who made that terrible call in the Serena v Capriati match. It was Mariana Alves.

De Jenkin is a very good umpire. She recently umpired a men's GS final.

Nick McCarvel said...

Thanks for the correction Switz. You're right, it was indeed Mariana Alves in the chair.

I did, however, see recently that Alves is still is that possible?!? I thought she was banned for life after such a hideous call.