Maria Sakkari's Bad Homburg controversy points to umpire bias

Wednesday, 26 June 2024 at 10:14
Greece tennis star Maria Sakkari has lambasted the chair umpire during a match in the Bad Homburg Open. The competition is the last chance for players to prepare for the upcoming third Grand Slam of the year. Wimbledon 2024 will begin on July 1st, and players from all over the world will showcase their talent and secure the ultimate prize.
Sakkari was one of the most high-profile players to exit the competition in the first round, losing to Germany’s Jule Niemeier with a score of 2-6, 6-2, 7-6. During the match, the 28-year-old, after losing a point, accused the chair umpire of being ‘biased’. The incident took place in the third set where Sakkari thought she made it 2-2 as her opponent’s shot was called out.
Niemeier challenged the incident and in the replay, it was clear that the ball went out however the chair umpire still went ahead and, in a bizarre manner, gave a point to the 24-year-old. The logic behind was Sakkari’s shot landed outside the court but in reality, her shot was in response to the shot that was over the line anyway.
After the whole incident, Sakkari was furious and she accused the referee of being ‘biased’ by stating: “Of course, you’re German – you’re going to.” Regardless of the controversy, the result extended Sakkari’s poor form it was the third consecutive competition where she was knocked out after losing in the first round.
Before coming to Hamburg, the Athens-born star lost to the former world number one Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in the first round of the recently-concluded Berlin Ladies Open in straight sets with a score of 6-4, 6-2. Before that, the current world number nine lost in the first round of the French Open as she suffered a surprising defeat to France’s Varvara Gracheva with a score of 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

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