‘You’re a disgrace!’ Stefanos Tsitsipas verbally attacks umpire in Monte Carlo
Stefanos Tsitsipas verbally attacked Arnaud Gabas in the doubles; another instance of the French umpire receiving player anger.
French umpire Arnaud Gabas has had unfortunate luck with many player confrontations and occurrences in his time as a tour umpire. It happened again this week as Stefanos Tsitsipas berated him in a Monte Carlo doubles match. Here, Tennishead takes a look at three of the most intriguing happenings involving Gabas.
1. Monte Carlo Masters 2021 – S. Tsitsipas/P. Tsitsipas vs K. Krawietz/H. Tecau (8)
This week, Stefanos Tsitsipas and his younger brother Petros once again teamed up in the doubles of an ATP tournament, with Stefanos expressing multiples times that he wants to continue to pursue this path with his brother.
The Greek pair were facing 8th seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau in the first round. At 6-6 in the first set and 0-1 on the Tecau serve in the tiebreak, Stefanos Tsitsipas returned serve straight to Mies who put the ball away with a volley.
Petros Tsitsipas then looked at the mark for the serve and asked Arnaud Gabas to come down from his chair to check it. Gabas declined, stating that Stefanos needed to have stopped play in order to check the mark, rather than making the return and calling for a check after the point was over.
The ensuing argument devolved into Stefanos Tsitsipas eventually tell Gabas “You are a disgrace, you’re a disgrace. Go back to [ITF] Futures, that’s where you belong.”
Petros tried to calm his brother at this point before Stefanos walked off. Gabas gave the pair a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct and a warning as a result. Though the argument continued, no more sanctions came of it.
The Tsitsipas brothers went on to win the tiebreak in question and the match in the end, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6 and 11-9 in the deciding tiebreak. The two then lost their second round match against Cristian Garin and Guido Pella.
— rachel (@tennisbish) April 13, 2021
2. Miami Masters 2021 – Vasek Pospisil vs Mackenzie McDonald
Arnaud Gabas was caught in another recent on-court altercation as recently as the Master 1000 tournament in Miami just three weeks ago.
Gabas was the umpire for the first round matchup between Canadian Vasek Pospisil and American Mackenzie McDonald. While the match was competitive to start, Pospisil began to look fatigued and unstable near the end of the first set.
At the end of the first set, after launching a ball out of the court, smashing his racket and finishing with a code violation to lose the set, Pospisil sat down and began ranting about a confrontation he had had the previous day. As a representative for the Professional Tennis Players Association, Pospisil led a meeting with ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi about player concerns.
In the rant, directed both generally and at Gabas in the chair, Pospisil detailed his experience of the meeting.
“Yesterday, the chair of the ATP f***ing screaming at me, in a player meeting, for trying to unite the players, for an hour and a half, the leader of the ATP… f***ing a**hole,” the Canadian said in his outburst.
Gabas tried to calm Pospisil down and let him know that the court was not the place for such a scene. Pospisil went on to lose the match while still having put in the effort to get back into it, falling 3-6, 6-4, 3-6 to McDonald.
Pospisil eventually apologised via Twitter, but seemingly for his behaviour in general and never directly to Gabas.
3. Davis Cup 2017 – Denis Shapovalov (Canada) vs Kyle Edmund (Great Britain)
Simultaneously the most infamous but perhaps the least controversial involvement from Arnaud Gabas came in a Davis Cup World Group 1st round tie between Great Britain and Canada.
In the deciding rubber, a 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov lost his serve to make it 2-1 to Kyle Edmund in the third set, who was already two sets up over the Canadian.
In frustration at being broken, Shapovalov took a ball from his pocket and launched it at full power in the direction of the crowd. In an example of extremely unfortunate luck, the ball hit Arnaud Gabas at full pelt directly in his left eye.
Shapovalov immediately brought his hand to his mouth and approached the umpire’s chair to check that Gabas was ok. The match referee then came out on court to advise Gabas on the situation, eventually telling him “announce the score, then default him [Shapovalov].”
Gabas did so, with the match ending 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 (default). Shapovalov and Team Canada offered no protest at the decision, taking full responsibility and continuing to check on how the umpire was doing. “Are you ok, can you see? I’m so sorry man. I’m so sorry dude” Shapovalov can be heard saying to Gabas before shaking his hand.
Shapovalov was fined $7,000 for the incident by the International Tennis Federation, deciding against imposing the $12,000 maximum fine due to the youngster’s immediate apology.
Arnaud Gabas required surgery after suffering a fractured eye socket as a result of the accident.
(Photo credit Ray Giubilo)
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