WATCH: 'You Think I Was Born Yesterday?': Sakkari Accuses Umpire Of Bias In Bad Homburg Loss

WATCH: 'You Think I Was Born Yesterday?': Sakkari Accuses Umpire Of Bias In Bad Homburg Loss

by Zachary Wimer

Maria Sakkari lost at the 2024 Bad Homburg Open to Jule Niemeier, and during the match, she accused the umpire, Christoph Damaske, of being biased.

The Greek hasn't played very good tennis lately, and it's clear that her frustration is quite high. The match against Niemeier started well, as she won the opening set 6-2, but as the match went on, her German opponent found better and better solutions.

In the final set, at 2-1 for Niemeier, Sakkari had an argument with the umpire after he made a judgment call. He gave the point to Niemeier after she successfully challenged a slice that was ruled wide.

Sakkari's return to that shot went wide, but she argued that the out call came before, so she didn't really give a proper effort.

From the footage, it's difficult to determine whether she genuinely made an effort because the call came as she was hitting the shot. Ultimately, per the rules, it's a judgment call, and the umpire gave the point to Niemeier.

Sakkari wasn't happy and accused the umpire of bias because he and her opponent were both German, playing at a WTA 500 tournament in Germany. After the umpire ruled in her opponent's favor, the Greek player approached him saying:

"Why do you say that? It was out, and I did like this [shows swinging motion] on the side."

However, Damaske made up his mind, saying that according to him, the out call didn't effect the top seed's shot.

"The out call came a little bit late and for me, it didn't effect your shot, it was a very intensive slice. So for me, the shot doesn't make any difference for me."

Sakkari argued that the umpire should ask the line umpire, saying: "Ask him, ask him." However, the chair umpire responded that it was purely his judgment call: "No, no. It's all my judgment." Sakkari wasn't happy with that, accusing him of being biased.

"Of course, you're German, you're going to... You think I was born yesterday? Do you think I don't know what's happening here?"

Of course, the umpire disagreed with Sakkari, firing back that his perspective was different from hers. Eventually, Niemeier ended up winning the match 7-4 in the final set tie-break.


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