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Khachanov blows fuse as umpire error highlights technology debate

The European Open threw up yet another example of why so many players want Hawk-Eye or electronic line-calling to be available at every event on the Tour.

Karen Khachanov Karen Khachanov

Russian Karen Khachanov blew a fuse on Friday after he was the victim of a shocking overrule by umpire Adel Nour at the European Open in Antwerp.

The world No 17 was leading his quarter-final with Britain’s Dan Evans 4-2 in the first set when he hit a forehand from on top of the net that was at least a couple of inches inside the line only for Nour to overrule and then indicate with his hands that he “saw it like this out”.

“Why do you correct the call if you have the line umpire, I don’t understand”. Khachanov said. When Nour indicated with his hands that he saw the ball clearly out, Khachanov said: “You saw it ‘like this out’? OK, you and me we watch it together after the match.”

With no Hawk-Eye at the ATP 250 event, Khachanov could not challenge the call, just the latest in a long line of recent problems with players and the lack of Hawk-Eye, as was the case at Roland-Garros.

Tiebreak controversy

Evans was also displeased, at one stage describing the situation as a “f****** circus” but Khachanov looked to have shrugged off the disappointment when he won the first set and held match point at 6-5. A good Evans serve saved it but Khachanov thought he had forced a second match point at at 7-7 in the second-set tiebreak, only for Evans’ forehand, which he saw wide, was called good. “It’s a joke, it’s a joke,” Khachanov said. “Everyone can see it was out. What are you doing here? What are you doing here? You don’t need to be here.”

Evans duly won the next point and Khachanov kicked the net, and then hit his racquet twice against the umpire’s chair.

After that Khachanov was broken early in the third set and Evans clinched a 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 victory and a place in the semi-finals on Saturday.

The incidents were yet more fuel on the fire to those players, like world No 1 Novak Djokovic who would like to see electronic line-calling at every event, even if it means there are no jobs for linesmen and women.

Evans will play Ugo Humbert in the semi-finals while Alex de Minaur hammered Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-0 in under an hour and faces Grigor Dimitrov next.

Khachanov later apologized for his outburst on social media, stating that apologies were exchanged between him and the umpire and it was a heat-of-the-moment reaction on his end.

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