In one of the more complicated on-court rulings of the young tennis season, Agnieszka Radwanska lost a challenge earlier this week on a ball hit by Lucie Safrova that was initially ruled out.
If that doesn't sound confusing yet, wait until you see the video:
Two thoughts before we get into it:
1. That made my head hurt.
2. I don't know if chair umpire Kader Nouni is married, but if he is, I don't envy his wife when they have disagreements. His calming demeanor, deep voice and tendency to speak in a haze of circular logic has a dizzying effect.
What happened was that the initial call was out, but was immediately corrected. Radwanska hit the return and then challenged the call. She thought she was challenging the "out" ruling but was, in fact, challenging the correct "in" call. When it was determined that the ball was in (upholding the call), Radwanska lost the point because she lost the challenge.
The situation was confusing and wasn't made any easier by Nouni's explanation. Even with the proper reasoning, it's a tough one to swallow for Radwanska. Had she not challenged, they would have replayed the point. Because she challenged, she needed the ball to actually be out to get a let.
Nouni's ruling was correct but the spirit of the rule isn't. In rare circumstances like this, the challenge should be waved off and the point replayed. The distraction of the changed call is likely what messed up Radwanska. She shouldn't be penalized for that.
Racquet clap to Forty Deuce