Russian No.16 seed Karen Khachanov is up two sets to love on American qualifier Aleksandar Kovacevic, but it hasn’t been without controversy.
There was a testy moment in the second set when Khachanov went at Romanian chair umpire Raluca Andrei after she called for a point to be replayed.
The incident occurred when an errant service return from Kovacevic was prematurely caught by a ballkid before Khachanov had a chance to hit the ball.
Despite replays showing the ball would go wide, Andrei called for the point to be replayed, much to the dismay of Khachanov, before Kovacevic conceded the point.
Here’s how the exchange between Khachanov and Andrei went.
Khachanov: Where is the rules?
Andrei: He needs to let it bounce.
Khachanov: It doesn’t matter. No!
Andrei: I’m not allowed to do it unless he concedes it (the point).
Khachanov: Show me after, in the rules.
Andrei: Ladies and gentlemen, even though the ball did not bounce on the court, Mr Kovacevic is conceding the point to Mr Khachanov.
I can explain. From my point of view, although we have the singles net, I cannot see if it was 100 per cent going out because I have this view.
Khachanov: OK, one second. How many years you are on the chair? So you’ve never seen a situation where the ball is out by this much and then (the ballkid) is coming in?
Andrei: I have to follow the procedures.
Commentator John Alexander backed Andrei’s call despite Khachanov’s frustration.
“It’s lovely sportsmanship and to be praised, but I’m not sure whether he (Kovacevic) has the right to do that,” he said.
“Common sense prevails. I still don’t know whether the ballperson knows they’ve done something very wrong. Just a little overzealous.
“The umpire has got a reasonable point here because it’s very hard from the angle where the umpire is looking at to see whether the ball was actually going to be wide.
“We have the advantage of looking up the court, so we can say it was going to be pretty wide. But from the angle of the umpire, it’s not the easiest call.
“A little controversial. Very, very sporting of Aleksandar to concede the point.”