Big serving Ivo Karlovic was called for 11 foot faults in a tight 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (4) loss to Andy Murray Thursday at Wimbledon. He thinks he knows why.
The Croat blasted tournament officials after the match, suggesting that Murray was getting favorable treatment because he's a Brit. It was a blistering attack. Some of the highlights:
• "I feel cheated. On a Grand Slam, Centre Court."
• "It was outrageous. It's Wimbledon and they do this. This is bulls---."
• "It was never called when it was like 30-Love or 40-Love. It was always when it was 30-All or in a tiebreak. Then I stand a little bit back but they still called. So it was outrageous. I mean, this is BS. I feel cheated."
• "The whole credibility of this tournament went down for me. I'm angry about it, a little bit pissed, because I don't expect it here. Even though it is against an English guy who they always want to win."
• "In my whole life, ever since I was 8 years old, I didn't do this many foot faults. It was like 11.
• "Is it Davis Cup or is it Wimbledon? After this match, the whole credibility of this tournament went down for me."
It speaks to the spinelessness of tennis officials that Karlovic isn't expected to be disciplined for his comments. Nothing; for real. The guy said the fix was in! In any other sport, he'd see a substantial fine and suspension for such a suggestion. If an NFL player did that, Roger Goodell would excommunicate them and seek deportation. Not in tennis. Threaten a line judge? We'll fine you couch-cushion change. Claim that a tournament has no integrity and is cheating? Sorry you feel that way, big man.
If there are close-up replays of Karlovic's violations, I've yet to see them. A foot fault is a foot fault though and it deserves to be called if the Croat was over the line before he hit the ball.
That was Andy Murray's tact. "If he wasn't foot faulting then he has a right to be upset, because there was a lot of them," he said. "But if he was, then you can't do it. It's not allowed."