Chris Chase

Video: Heckler/fool yells on Raonic-Verdasco match point

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

It was the crucial moment in the finals of the SAP Open in San Jose. Milos Raonic was serving to Fernando Verdasco leading 6-5 in the second-set tiebreak. Win the point and Roanic would become the first Canadian to win an ATP event since 1995 and the youngest man to win a tournament since 2008. Lose the post and Verdasco would have been assured to serve again in the tiebreak, possibly for the match.

With the tension building, Raonic winds up to uncork one of his patented 140 mph rockets. At the instant his racquet hits the ball, a fan unleashes a loud, distracting scream. Verdasco doesn't get back a return and Raonic wins the tournament:

Though it seems like the screaming loser idiot halfwit fan may be trying to distract Raonic, it's more likely that he mistimed his already poorly-timed yell. (You have to rush it when the serve is going 140 mph.) The yell was intended to mess up Verdasco, who then did just that.

Whether or not Verdasco would have chunked the return with the yell or not is irrelevant. The chair umpire needed to call a let and have the players replay the point. Fans can't yell loudly in the middle of points. It's unfair to both competitors.

The incident shouldn't take away from Raonic's breakout win, but should serve as example to other tournament officials of how not to control a crowd. My advice for dealing with unruly fans: Hire those two women who yelled at the guy. I'm glad somebody at the stadium had the courage to say something to him.

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