WATCH: Evans Left Fuming After Umpire Makes Massive Mistake And Steals Point From Him

WATCH: Evans Left Fuming After Umpire Makes Massive Mistake And Steals Point From Him

by Nurein Ahmed

Controversy gripped the first-round match between Daniel Evans and Fabio Fognini at the Italian Open, in which chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani made a massive error of judgment.

Evans and home crowd favorite Fognini were locked in a tight encounter on Thursday night at Grand Stand Arena. After the British one-hander leveled the match by coasting through the second set, the Italian took the early lead in the decider.

With Fognini serving at 3-1, he faced a break point at 30-40 and dragged his drive volley a few millimeters wide. The line judge did not verbally call it out but did raise an arm, indicating that Fognini's shot missed the line.

On a second viewing the umpire Lahyani, who left his seat to assess the situation, picked the wrong ball mark and called it in. As Evans protested, Lahyani is heard saying, "No, no, it's not that mark."

Fognini played devil's advocate, presumably agreeing that his ball was in, as he discussed it with Evans at the net. Evans, who had a better glimpse of the shot than the two of them, argued that they picked the incorrect mark.

The correct mark, which was then replayed on Hawkeye on the television screen, showed that Fognini's shot had actually missed the line, contrary to the umpire's call that "it was catching the back of the line."

Strangely enough, Lahyani, who is one of the most experienced tennis umpires on the ATP Tour, also admitted that the line judge "called it good."

"I think Mohamed (Lahyani) has got the wrong mark there," match commentator Mikey Pereira is heard saying from the booth on Tennis TV. His co-commentator agrees, adding, "The line judge did put their arm out." Evans was enraged, and because of an angry outburst, he was handed a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The 33-year-old got the break back a few moments later, but that decision clearly impacted his performance because he couldn't hold serve for the rest of the match, which Fognini won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. The incident has raised fresh discussions among fans about the need for a line calling system on clay.


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