First Week Controversy at the Australian Open

Written By: achangeofends - Jan• 22•12

Today, we officially enter the second week of the Australian Open. Week one has yielded plenty of memorable moments. US Open Champion, Aussie Samantha Stosur was knocked out in the first round by Sorana Cîrstea. After three emotional wins, Lleyton Hewitt has landed himself in the fourth round at his home Slam for the seventh time. Bernard Tomic emerged as the future of Australian tennis, before being dismantled in the fourth round by his idol, Roger Federer. Kim Clijsters shook off an ankle sprain to beat Li Na in Melbourne for the second year in a row. However, perhaps the most memorable moments of the first week didn’t come from any of these headline match ups. Here are some of the most controversial moments of Week 1.

Marcos Baghdatis lets off some steam

In his four set loss to Stanislas Wawrinka, Marcos Baghdatis showed us that he is a champion when it comes to breaking rackets. However, his outburst didn’t come cheap. He was fined $200 per racket, not to mention he probably needed a few more rackets.

David Nalbanian vs. Kader Nouni

The general consensus is that Kader Nouni was in the wrong. Nalbandian clearly asked to challenge the call in what seemed like a timely manner, John Isner even encouraged him to challenge, and yet Nouni would not allow the challenge. In the end, the match was delayed far longer than the challenge would have taken since Nalbandian took up his cause with another official. You have to think the call somewhat contributed to Nalbandian’s five set loss. In a possibly unrelated incident, Nalbandian was fined $8,000 for throwing water on an Australian Open official.

Tomas Berdych Booed

Nicolas Almagro may not be the most well loved player, but I have a hard time believing that he meant to peg Berdych with that shot. Tomas obviously saw the incident a little differently, refusing to shake the Spaniard’s hand at the end of the match. The Aussies clearly take their sportsmanship very seriously because they booed Berdych straight through the post match interview.

Feel free to use the comments section to weigh in on these events. Should Marcos have been fined for his racket abuse? Should umpires be held accountable for their actions? Were the fans justified in booing Tomas Berdych?

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One Comment

  1. Baghdatis: I think that Baghdatis totally doesn’t care about the $200! I’m not offended by a player breaking his racket but A) he could have removed the plastic bag, that would have been more professional! B) he has not respect for the guys who are doing the stringing. If I were one of those workers, I would be certainly very pissed off. @Marcos: At least, next time, choose one of your used rackets.

    BTW, after the fourth racket, the crowd was cheering expecting a fifth one. And Marcos starts smiling after probably thinking that he still needs a racket to finish the match! ;-)

    Nouni: Very sad story. A very good referee but he was completely wrong. I don’t like too much Nalbandian but really poor David. He didn’t deserve that. And shame on Isner. He should have done something: no sportsmanship from the US guy.

    Berdych: Tough crowd! Berdych was probably not right and not wrong at the same time. Both players tried to cool down the incident via Twitter after, while media was obviously trying to heat it up!

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