World No. 5 Karolina Pliskova brutalizes umpire chair at Italian Open after awful call in upset loss

Karolina Pliskova, furious over a blown call at a critical juncture in an Italian Open loss, smashed a hole in the umpire’s chair with her racket. (Reuters)

This is a proper tennis meltdown.

World No. 5 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic lost a close second-round match to Greece’s Maria Sakkari on Wednesday at the Italian Open after incompetent officiating cost her a point late in the third set.

The controversy starts at the 5:35 mark of the video here.

Pliskova calls on higher authority after terrible call

With the game tied at 40-40 in a 5-5 third set, Pliskova scored what looked like an obvious point on an overhead smash that landed just inside the court. The broadcast’s score bug had already marked the point, scoring the game advantage Pliskova, before the line judge ruled the ball out to the dismay of the crowd.

Chair umpire Marta Mrozinska asked for clarification from the line judge and explained to a pleading Pliskova that the line judge’s ruling would stand since there was no mark on the clay to prove otherwise.

Pliskova asked for a WTA supervisor, who provided no help despite replay clearly showing that the ball was in.

Pliskova went on to lose the game and eventually the match.

Then this happened.

Pliskova loses cool, smashes hole in umpire chair


Pliskova shook hands with Sakkari before pulling an okey-doke handshake on Mrozinska and smashing a hole in her chair with her racket.

And, really, who can blame her? Though clearly not the most professional of responses, Pliskova got soundly jobbed on a routine call at a critical juncture of the match.

Hawk-eye technology could have prevented this

The incident has raised calls for the use of hawk-eye replay technology often seen on other surfaces but rarely used on clay because of ball marks left on the soft surface.

Former top-ranked doubles player Rennae Stubbs:


Pliskova’s coach Thomas Krupa was less subtle with his feelings after the match.


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