One of Mohamed Lahyani’s calls led to a row again on Thursday after the umpire was criticised by Andy Murray following a disagreement about a ball mark the day before. The well-known tennis official overruled a call in Daniel Altmaier’s match against Giulio Zeppieri before the German showed Lahyani that he was using the wrong mark to inform his decision. The umpire reversed his decision but Altmaier was still unhappy as he ended up getting broken after losing his rhythm.
Altmaier was serving for the first set of his clash against Zeppieri on Thursday at 30-30 when the Italian sent the ball out of the tram lines, in what was meant to give the German qualifier a set point. But the umpire overruled the out call and rushed down to double-check the ball mark.
Lahyani called Altmaier over to show him the mark he was referring to, but the world No 65 informed the official that he was looking in the wrong place and mistook a different mark on the clay for the ball that the wildcard had just sent wide. “Sorry, sorry. Yes, it’s my fault. I realised. It’s my mistake,” he told the German.
Lahyani also informed Zeppieri of the mistake, telling him: “I took the wrong one. I asked the line umpire and it’s like this out, it’s my mistake. I’m 100 per cent sure.”
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But Altmaier wasn’t happy with the timing of the call at a significant moment in the first set. “You can’t do this at 30-30 and destroy my rhythm,” he told the umpire.
The 24-year-old was given a set point after Lahyani made a U-turn on his overrule but the Italian wildcard was able to break, winning the next nine points before Altmaier took the first set in a tiebreak. The qualifier went on to win 7-6(3) 4-6 6-0.
The incident comes just a day after Lahyani was involved in a fiery disagreement with Murray, who believed the umpire wrongly interpreted a ball mark as being on the line when it was out during his clash with Fabio Fognini. The Brit went on to lose in three sets and later took to social media to vent his frustration.
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“You can see the ball mark mate,” he told the official during the first set of his defeat to Fognini. “Mohamed, look. How can you see that ball from there being in? How is it possible? You’re trying to make a mark now. You can see the clay is still there. You can see the ball mark.”
Unlike the Altmaier incident, Lahyani’s call stood in Murray’s match. After losing, the Brit commented on an Instagram post showing footage of the moment and aired his grievances with the umpire.
“Stadium full of Italians booing and whistling, thinking I’m trying to cheat Fabio out of point all because Mo couldn’t read a mark properly. Cheers, mate,” he wrote.
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