WATCH: Drama & Controversy as Sakkari's Touch on Crucial Point Goes Unnoticed

WATCH: Drama & Controversy as Sakkari's Touch on Crucial Point Goes Unnoticed

by Jamie Malachy

Last updated

Karolina Pliskova's fourth-round match against Maria Sakkari at the 2023 Indian Wells ended in controversy.

In the third set, a point in a crucial game when the Czech player was losing 2-5 was awarded to Sakkari after an exchange in which the ball appeared to clip the Greek's racket before landing out of the court.

Pliskova was certain the ball had touched Sakkari's racket, with Sakkari pleading her innocence. The event had taken place too quickly for any human judgment to be confident of what happened, but replays quite clearly show the ball did indeed brush Sakkari's racket.

Pliskova's ball was going out anyway, but Sakkari was unaware of this and stretched to meet the volley, made contact, but was not close enough to gain any control of the ball.

The incident has further enhanced widespread calls for video replays to be used in tennis, and it precluded a swift handshake between the two players at the conclusion of the match, with Pliskova clearly feeling she had been wrong by this decision.

At the time of the incident, Sakkari, who recently talked about her last year's struggles, was already a double break up in the third set, so was in pole position to win the match regardless of the outcome of that point.

However, she was under pressure on her service game as she tried to see out the match, and although Pliskova eventually broke her serve, it's obvious that the rally changed the possible outcome of the match.

We'll never know the destined outcome of this match, but it will be a difficult decision for Karolina Pliskova to take. Meanwhile, it has thrown the debate around video replays firmly back under the spotlight.

Sakkari marches on, and will next face big-serving left-hander Petra Kvitova for a place in the semi-finals of this year's BNP Paribas Open. Kvitova knocked out home hope Jessica Pegula in a titanic tussle that ended in an epic third set tie-break.


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