There was controversy on Court 3 in the second-round match between Jeremy Chardy of France and the Briton, Dan Evans.
With Chardy serving at 3-3, a break point down, a ball from Chardy’s pocket fell on to the court during the point, which the Frenchman went on to lose.
Ordinarily, the point would have been replayed but the umpire, Miriam Bley, only saw the stray ball late and awarded the point, and therefore the game, to Evans.
Chardy argued his case for 10 minutes but it was to no avail and Evans went on to win the match in straight sets.
“I was angry because she should stop straightaway, and she says she didn’t even see the ball,” Chardy said.
Australian website abc.net.au reported Chardy as saying, “I don’t know what she’s doing because she doesn’t call in or out. She just called the score, and if she doesn’t watch the point.”
According to the report, Chardy furiously told Bley she had made the “biggest mistake of the Australian Open”. “I have played for 20 years. I have never had one umpire bad like you. Not one,” he said to Bley during their on-court exchange.
With AP inputs