Wimbledon 2022: Spain's Fokina suffers wild loss on 5th-set tiebreak ball-abuse penalty

·2 min read

What a brutal way to go out.

Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina fought through five sets to end up in a tiebreak with Czech Jiri Vesely at Wimbledon on Wednesday. At stake: A spot in the Grand Slam's third round.

Vesely secured match point by taking a 9-7 lead in the tiebreak when Fokina failed to return a ball over the net. Fokina took his frustrations out by hitting another ball out of play during the break in action. And that was the end of his tournament.

Ball abuse penalty ends Fokina's Wimbledon

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos penalized Fokina for ball abuse because of the extracurricular forehand. The penalty was his second code violation of the day. A second code violation results in an automatic penalty point awarded to the violator's opponent. In this case, it was match point, and Vesely punched his ticket to the third round.

Here's the match's conclusion on video, including Vesely's final earned point and the violation by Fokina (43 seconds) that secured the 6-3, 5-7, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (10-7) win.

Per the Associated Press, Fokina protested Ramos' ruling, arguing that his previous code violation was for a different infraction — audible obscenity. But it doesn't matter what the code violations are for. Two add up to a penalty point for the opponent, and Ramos ruled by the letter of the law.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina reacts during his match against Hubert Hurkacz during day one of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday June 27, 2022. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at Wimbledon. (Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

Ramos has history with controversial code violations

If Ramos' name sounds familiar, he's the umpire at the center of the 2018 US Open controversy involving Serena Williams. Ramos called Williams for three code violations during her final against Naomi Osaka. The penalties prompted Williams to berate Ramos mid-match en route to her straight-sets loss to Osaka.

Williams lobbed accusations of sexism at Ramos, while umpires mulled a boycott of Williams' matches because of her outburst. There was no such scene at Wimbledon on Wednesday. Just a stunning conclusion amid a fifth-set tiebreak.