Andy Roddick Bickers With Chair Ump in Cincinnati Masters
Roddick won the first set without much trouble, and was two points away from winning the match in the second set. But tied at 7-7 in the tiebreak, things would get interesting.
Soderling ripped a shot deep to the baseline that beat Roddick, and without hesitating Roddick raised his hand to challenge. But the ump overruled the linesman, calling Soderling's shot out without Roddick even needing to use a challenge.
Now Soderling's turn to disagree. Without hesitation he puts his hand up to challenge the chair ump's overruling.
After three of the most important people on the court all tried their say, we'll find out the truth thanks to the glorious age of video officiating. The HawkEye replay clearly shows Soderling's shot skip off the line and in, thus proving Roddick and the chair ump's overruling wrong.
Soderling goes ahead 8-7 in the tiebreak, wins the next point and forces a third set.
Naturally, ESPN took a commercial break during the changeover, and things were heated when they came back. Nobody likes commercials, especially at the cost of a good ol' fashioned tennis argument.
Roddick was unhappy with how long it took Soderling to challenge the overruling. What Andy clearly didn't recognize, was that Soderling put his hand up immediately after the initial call was overruled -- it just took the ump a few brief seconds to see it.
"How hard is it to answer my question?" Roddick was saying as ESPN2 returned from commercial break. "Listen to me! I'm going to ask you a question and you give me a very specific answer: how long can he wait to challenge the ball?"
"I don't have any time to give," were the only words the berated ump could muster.
"Are you trying to piss me off?" Roddick responded angrily. "How long, give me a number! "
Roddick was over the line, but to be fair, the chair ump had no idea of the official rule, or even if there is one. He should have had a number to give Roddick, or put his foot down to end the silly bickering match.
"Ten seconds," he finally blurted out. Bad move
"Ten seconds, do you have any idea how long that is? Next time I challenge I'm going to wait 10 seconds," Roddick threatened. "You better not call a time violation on me when I wait to 10 seconds to challenge it, or we're going to see what happens."
It's a good thing it never came to that. Roddick won the match and will play Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.
In the post-match interview, he jokingly played off the exchange.
"It would be fine if he (chair ump) just made sense every once in a while," he laughed. "I was a little frustrated with him and a lot frustrated with myself, and unfortunately there's nobody else to talk to."
Don't worry Andy, you'll have another chance to talk tomorrow.