French Open tennis - 'No way, no! How?!' - Alexander Zverev can't believe umpire decision in heated dispute
Sixth seed Alexander Zverev had another row with an umpire over a debatable line call during his quarter-final match with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Tuesday evening. He previously had an inauspicious streak of being late for the start of his first three matches at the 2021 French Open due to "faffing" with his things before and after the coin tosses and warm-ups.
Alexander Zverev was left in disbelief by a line call and proceeded to have a heated exchange with the umpire during his French Open quarter-final clash.
The German immediately called his own line and declared a deep backhand from Alejandro Davidovich Fokina "out!" during a crucial point in the fourth game of the match which would have given him a key break of serve.
But the umpire, the very experienced and respected Brit, Alison Hughes, did not see it the same way after coming down from her chair and walking over to find what she believed to be the mark on the red clay.
Zverev was absolutely furious with the verdict and demonstrated his frustration with an outburst which delayed the match.
"No, no, no! It's here! No!" exclaimed Zverev when the mark was pointed out to him by Hughes, who made the observation that it was not a full mark.
No, no, no, no! No, no way, no! How is that not out? How?!
"I never complain about much - if you say it's in or out I always agree. But how do you call this in? I know you say it is in, but it is not!"
It is far from the first time Zverev has had a run in with an umpire at this year's Roland Garros. Last week, he made it three matches in succession with a delay at the start as he kept both the umpire, Carlos Ramos, and his third-round opponent, Laslo Djere, waiting for the coin toss.
'He's late again! What is all this faffing about?' - Zverev delays coin toss
With Djere and umpire Ramos standing patiently at the net, Zverev was busy fiddling with his towel, his bag, his racket and his shoe laces in baffling fashion.
"He's late again! What is all this faffing about?" asked an incredulous Jo Durie, on commentary for Eurosport at the time.
Chris Bradnam had said: "Well, I think in that second-round match he had a point, because Zverev wasn't serving and when the umpire warned them both, he was at the baseline and pretty much ready to go.
"The whole idea [of the pre-match timing rules] was to get rid of all that faff!"
'It's bulls***!' - Zverev furious at time violation before match AGAIN
Zverev, who went on to win the match in straight sets, was not in a jovial mood and proceeded he make his feelings well known to the umpire.
Given that Safiullin had the balls in his hand and the onus is traditionally on the server to dictate the pace of proceedings, he clearly felt as though he was not the one holding things up.
"Within four seconds I was here at the baseline," protested Zverev. "I looked at it [the match clock] and within four seconds I was here at the baseline.
I had it last time - and this time it's bulls***. I'm sorry.
As Eurosport's Bradnam explained: "They were both starting so it's a code violation for both players because they were not ready to start within the one minute.
"He was saying, Zverev, that he was at the baseline and ready to play. Why are you giving me a warning? I'm not serving, is what he means."
Annabel Croft, also on commentary for Eurosport at the time, added: "It's kind of quite brave to give him a code violation at that particular moment, isn't it?"
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Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title at his favourite event and 2020 Roland Garros sensation Iga Swiatek aiming to replicate her stunning triumph in Paris.