French Open: 'Hawkeye not 100% accurate' - Forget on umpire controversy over Barbora Krejcikova match point
Unheralded Czech player Barbora Krejcikova will take on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Saturday's showpiece after another brilliant performance on the big stage. Krejcikova held her nerve in dramatic fashion after having to win the match twice due to a shocking overrule from the umpire. Roland Garros tournament director Guy Forget has spoken to Eurosport about the controversy and Hawkeye.
'Hawkeye not 100% accurate' - Umpire controversy over match point 'complicated' - Forget
There was incredible drama as everyone in the stadium thought the match had been won - but thankfully for Krejcikova and for justice being done, she was able to close it out at the second attempt shortly afterwards.
To put it simply: the initial line call was 'out', the umpire overruled to say it was 'in', then Hawkeye (which is not used at Roland Garros) proved it was indeed out after all. But Forget makes the point that, with visible marks on the red clay after shots, he cannot be sure that Hawkeye would actually help the situation in Paris.
'No way!' - Krejcikova has to win match TWICE after huge umpire blunder
"It’s a complicated story because I’ve talked to the referee, I’ve talked to the umpires, and apparently there’s a difference between Hawk-Eye and the actual mark on the court," Forget explained to Eurosport on the day it was announced that Discovery had signed a new long-term deal with the FFT.
It’s a long debate we’ve had before – the image Hawk-Eye shows and the mark that actually shows on the court can actually be different. If the ball touches the line and on Hawk-Eye it looks out should we show it on TV while the system is not 100% accurate?
"Of course, you cannot talk to a machine, but you can talk to a chair umpire, and I think that’s the whole debate we have today – on hard courts no issue, on grass no issue – clay, if you have a 220kmh serve and the mark is long but the impact is in fact a lot smaller, so that’s how this whole process started.
"We liked it and we were laughing when John McEnroe was yelling at the line judge, and that’s part of the show as well – lose that, and are we losing something important in the game?"
Krejcikova said she "could not believe it" when she was asked about the decision in the Eurosport Cube after the match.
'I couldn't believe it' - Krejcikova on having to win match twice due to umpire blunder
I was horrified when they showed the mark was out after the umpire had called it in, and I was thinking she might not win the match even though she has won the match.
"But talk about emotion, we’re so thrilled for Krejcikova. By the same token, there is a sadness for Sakkari because they both played their hearts out.
"During the whole tournament there was some big points with some bad line calls, it’s not just this one time so that’s why I feel the system isn’t working right now."
Sakkari almost tried too hard in the opening set and Krejcikova capitalised on her opponent's mistakes. The Greek roared back to win the second and was a break up in the third, only for Krejcikova to respond once again and take the final set 9-7.
'I was horrified!' - Reaction as umpire wrongly denies Krejcikova victory on match point
For Sakkari it was a hugely disappointing end to an inspired showing at Roland Garros - particularly after she had recovered so impressively from losing the opening set and had looked set to kick on and win the match.
Sakkari found her way back into the contest in the second set and managed to balance her big hitting with a bit more patience from the back of the court, even when she faced a few obstacles.
The 17th seed was left furious midway through the crucial second set with a fan, who she felt deliberately shouted out mid-point. The Greek player told the umpire that she had mentioned this issue to him already in the first set and displayed her unhappiness with the situation after planting a forehand into the net to squander a break point at 4-2 up.
'Screaming at me!' - Sakkari upset at fan shouting out mid-point
"Someone is screaming at me!" Sakkari protested to the umpire in a fairly lengthy exchange before she had to regain her focus once more en route to winning the second set and levelling up the match.
Krejcikova took a very long break at the end of the second set which infuriated her opponent and even prompted boos upon her return from the fans on Court Philippe Chatrier.
'Absolute nonsense' - Fans boo as Krejcikova takes very long break
But Sakkari kept her composure impressively and proceeded to capitalise on a few mistakes, only to find herself losing out in heartbreaking fashion as Krejcikova edged a tense and thrilling finale.