NEW YORK (AP) Tomas Berdych was certain – absolutely certain – he managed to get his racket on the ball before it bounced twice.
Or at least he carried on as if were sure of it.
Ever so briefly making a bit of a comeback after dropping the first two sets of his U.S. Open quarterfinal against Marin Cilic, the sixth-seeded Berdych was serving at 4-2, 30-15 in the third when the point in question arrived.
At the end of a 12-stroke exchange, Cilic hit a shot that clipped the net cord and bounced onto Berdych’s side. Berdych raced forward, lifted the ball back over, and Cilic’s put his reply into the net.
Berdych thought he won the point. But chair umpire Louise Azemar Engzell awarded it to Cilic.
”What are you talking about?” Berdych began.
He walked over to Engzell’s stand and leaned on it, putting his head down, before resuming his argument.
”Have you ever had a racket in your hand?” he asked. ”This is a horrible call. This is (an) absolutely horrible call. There is absolutely no explanation.”
Engzell told Berdych that she saw the ball bounce twice before he hit it.
”If it bounced twice,” he responded, ”it is impossible to hit a shot like that.”
But a slow-motion replay showed that ball did, in fact, bounce a fraction of a second before the lunging Berdych made contact.
Berdych lost the next two points to get broken, then harangued Engzell some more at the ensuing changeover, cursing during his rant. He wound up losing that set, sending Cilic to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory.
– By Howard Fendrich, http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
SHOCKING NEWS: Stefan Kozlov said he and other American junior players were stunned to learn Wednesday that Patrick McEnroe was resigning as the U.S. Tennis Association’s general manager of player development.
”I like Patrick a lot,” Kozlov said. ”I think we were all surprised, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
The 16-year-old Kozlov is seeded fourth in the boys’ tournament at the U.S. Open. He’s seeking a junior Grand Slam title after losing in the final of the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year.
”On the road at tournaments, like at Australia, he really supported me and came to my matches,” Kozlov said. ”He came to the finals there and came out to watch at Wimbledon and Paris too. That was just awesome.”
Kozlov moved into the quarterfinals Thursday after a tough 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win over Hong Seong-chan of South Korea.
He said he hit with McEnroe during this tournament.
”He gives me a lot of advice,” Kozlov said. ”He also talks with my coaches. He helps me a lot.”
He added: ”I just hope they replace him with someone as good.”
– By Sandra Harwitt
U.S. Open Scene follows tennis’ hard-court Grand Slam tournament in New York as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day.