“Looking at the clouds?”: Players fuming at umpire during Australian Open match. See tennis news

French player Jeremy Chardy accused a chair umpire of making the “biggest mistake of the Australian Open” on Thursday, asking him: “Are you looking at the bird? The cloud?”. The 35-year-old started broadside during his second-round match on Court 3 against Britain’s Dan Evans after a controversial decision that he lost. It came at a crucial moment, with Chardy saving a break point at 3-3 in the first set. A ball fell out of his pocket as he hit a forehand but he continued to play and Evans returned, with the umpire calling “late” after Chardy hit his next shot which would have missed the net.

The Brit said he didn’t see the extra ball so the umpire gave him a break and decided not to replay the point.

Chardy insisted play should have been stopped when the ball fell out of his pocket and the point was replayed.

“We play with someone who can’t umpire,” he told German chair official Miriam Blake. “In my life, in 20 years I have never umpired as bad as you.

“Where are you looking? Do you see birds? Clouds?

“This is the biggest mistake of the Australian Open. There is not one umpire on tour who has made this mistake, not one.”

Chardy then called the supervisor several times and continued to protest.

He eventually lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 and later said the umpires should be penalized for making mistakes.

“I mean, what I told him — if I miss a point, break my racket, I’ll be fined. You can make one big mistake, and you’ll have nothing,” he said at a news conference.

“So, yeah, I guess that’s not fair. It has to be the same for both, no?”

Evans said he had no idea who was right or wrong.

“I don’t really know what to make of what happened. I don’t really know who was right and who was wrong. I didn’t see it happen. It was a pretty awkward situation,” he said.

“I know Jeremy relatively well, so I really didn’t want the match to be bad. It was a good competitive match.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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