Tursunov exits Wimbledon in anger


Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov made a stormy exit from Wimbledon on Monday when he was involved in an angry, finger-pointing exchange with the umpire whom he condemned as an ‘idiot’.
The 27th seed lost his fourth round match to Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (27), 6-7 (68), 9-7 after a four-hour, Court Three marathon.
But the match was overshadowed by bitterness and controversy.
Tursunov raged at umpire Fergus Murphy as the two shook hands with the official having to tell the 23-year-old, ‘Don’t start’, as he tried to make a protest.
It appeared that the Russian even tried to pull Murphy from his chair.
“If the guy’s an idiot, the guy’s an idiot. I’m going to let him know that I feel that,” said Tursunov.
He was docked a penalty point at the start of the last game for hitting the ball in Murphy’s direction as he vented his frustration at losing his serve to go 7-8 down in the final set.
Although the ball hit the chair, Murphy was convinced it was aimed at him and he immediately handed Nieminen a point.
“When I lost my serve I hit the ball and it hit the bottom of the chair, but the umpire said that I hit the ball at him, so that’s why he gave me a point penalty,” said Tursunov.
“I’m sure I’ll be fined for anything that they can possibly fine me for. But I think the frustrating thing is that if I had two things that I got penalties for, then they’re going to fine me for two things. “If he made 16 mistakes during the match, he’s going to go away and get the same money for his job, and he’s not going to be punished for anything.”
Tursunov said he has had a long history of disputes with Murphy.
“Maybe it’s something personal now because I’ve always argued with him during my matches. But I think he’s terrible. He never makes an overrule. “He gives me a point penalty at 8-7. Four hours on the court doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason for him to be more lenient.”
Nieminen also had a point deducted for smashing his racket so hard on the court at the start of the final set that it bounced up and over the backwall and into a crowd of passers-by.
“I was frustrated but because of the sweat on my hands, the racket slipped and went over the fence,” said the 24-year-old who will face second seed Rafael Nadal in the next round.
“I asked about 10 people if it had hit anyone but they were all OK.”
In a gruelling match, Nieminen had squandered two match points in the fourth set tiebreak, one after a 42-shot rally.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2006

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