Italian Open star complains about ‘very old’ line judge and calls for punishment

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Veronika Kudermetova complained that a line judge was ‘very old’ during her Italian Open quarter-final clash with Qinwen Zheng on Tuesday. The Russian was victorious on the day, though her success was not without controversy following a heated discussion with the chair umpire.

Kudermetova dropped her first set, 3-6, before bouncing back to level the score with a 6-3 success. With the match down to the deciding set at the Foro Italico, tempers began to flare as the stakes were raised.

After taking a 3-0 lead, Kudermetova returned a shot from Zheng which appeared to bounce close to the line. The 26-year-old used her racket to show that she felt the ball pitched outside of the line, though the umpire swiftly walked over to the incident to inspect. He then called the line judge over to hear where he believed the ball bounced – consequently ruling against her.

Kudermetova was astonished by the decision, telling the umpire about previous incidents which had gone against her that were shown to be wrong. She then was heard saying: “This is your mistake, yeah? Who will take care about this one?

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“I mean, if I did mistake, you give me a fine or something- this is like a joke. He is very old. I mean, who will pay for that mistake?” Kudermetova continued to question the ruling before overcoming the controversy and securing the victory.

The world No 11 will now face off against Ukrainian star Anhelina Kalinina in the semi-finals on Friday, who beat Beatriz Haddad Maia in her quarter-final clash on Tuesday. Kurdermetova admitted that she will need to continue in the same rich vein of form if she is to secure victory in the Italian Open, though feels that focusing on keeping a lid on her emotions has seen her improve.

Speaking after her victory over Zheng, she explained: “The last few weeks I started to play better. A lot of good wins. I started to play more consistently. I think I am a little more calm, focused on improving, and do the right things, because before I tried to play good and show results.

“It’s also not easy to maintain that focus, that you just need to work, improve, stay calm, and think positive. This is the hard work but it’s the most important work for me. I try to follow that plan and for the moment it works.” It remains to be seen whether Kudermetova will secure a victory against Kalinina, world No 30, or if her temper could be the difference as she looks to make it through to the final.

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