‘Don’t talk to me!’ Serbian tennis player rages, refuses to play after controversial call at crucial stage of Adelaide loss


Serbian tennis player Miomir Kecmanovic threatened to walk out at a crucial stage of his Adelaide International loss to Jack Draper, after taking umbrage with a controversial decision midway through the third set tie-breaker.

With the scores locked at 5-5 after the Brit had saved two match points in the second set to force a decider, Kecmanovic exploded after Draper won a point despite appearing to hit the ball through – rather than over – the net.

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“Don’t talk to me – the ball went under the net!” the 24-year old, currently ranked 55th in the world, yelled at the chair umpire while gesturing furiously at the net.

“It [the ball] changed direction… call somebody.

“You can see on the TV… call somebody, I’m not going to play. Call somebody, right now.

“OK, your fault, but call somebody… no, I’m done! Call somebody… stop talking to me right now.

“The ball went under the net – under the net, and you’re calling it over.”

Big drama in Kecmanovic – Draper match in Adelaide. At 5-5 in third set TB the ball seemingly went THROUGH the net, but the point was awarded to Draper. Kecmanovic argued with the umpire, and in the end lost 5-7 7-6 (9) 7-6 (7). pic.twitter.com/bpbOf2tPtc

— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) January 10, 2024

Kecmanovic then sat down and refused to play for nearly five minutes, continuing to claim he’d been robbed of the point.

Eyewitnesses took to social media to defend the Serbian’s fury, with one describing the call as a ‘horror decision’.

Ball went under the net clearly umpire gave draper the point horror decision

— jdhngfbccf (@jdhngfbccf) January 10, 2024

The point gave Draper, the world No.62, a match point, but he couldn’t convert, before regathering his composure and claiming the deciding tie-break 9-7, for a 5-7, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (7) victory that sees him reach the last eight in Adelaide.

With the match taking a whopping 3 hours and 40 minutes in the blazing afternoon heat, one could perhaps forgive the Serbian’s fury over the controversial moment.

Kecmanovic is perhaps best known for reaching the fourth round of the 2022 Australian Open, thanks partly to countryman Novak Djokovic’s much-publicised deportation from the country due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Originally slated to face Djokovic in the opening round, the then-22 year old comfortably defeated lucky loser Salvatore Caruso, winning two more matches, including against 25th seed Lorenzo Sonego, to reach the last 16, before being at last defeated by Gael Monfils.

Draper, the fourth-highest ranked British male behind Cameron Norrie, Daniel Evans and Andy Murray, had to defeat Kecmanovic the hard way even before the late controversy, fighting back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set after losing the first.

He will face top seed and world No.14 Tommy Paul in his quarter-final on Thursday evening.

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