Video: World No. 5 Karolina Pliskova damages umpire’s chair after controversially losing match at the Italian Open
The usually calm and cool Pliskova made the headlines for her uncharacteristic outburst.
Known for her cool demeanour, 2016 US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova showed an uncharacteristic loss of temper after controversially losing her second round match at the Internazionali BNL D’Italia in Rome on Wednesday. The Czech star got enraged by a decision from umpire, Marta Mrozinska that went against her at a key moment of the match.
Locked at 40-40 and 5-5 in the third set with the 42nd ranked Maria Sakkari, Pliskova put away an overhead which was incorrectly deemed to have missed the sideline. It sparked off a heated argument between the two, which went on for several minutes, with even the Czech’s camp joining in the protest.
The former World No. 1 eventually called for the tournament supervisor before conceding that vital break of serve to her Greek opponent. Sakkari grabbed that opportunity with both hands and successfully served out the match for a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win as the embittered Pliskova failed to produce any fightback.
A seething Pliskova made her feelings clear after the match when she made a brief handshake with the victor and then stretched her hand out in an apparent attempt to shake hands with Mrozinska before quickly withdrawing it. Immediately afterwards, she proceeded to repeatedly strike the umpire’s chair to drill a hole in it and then threw away the racquet in frustration.
Pliskova had come to this tournament after a good start to the clay season that saw her clinch the title in Stuttgart and then carry that form on to Madrid, where she reached the semi-finals.
Her twin sister, the 71st ranked Kristyna also became a part of the controversy after she bashed the umpire and WTA on Twitter.
What sanctions the women’s tennis body will impose on Pliskova for her actions is not yet known. No matter how dispiriting that defeat might be, the Czech No. 1 will hope to forget this episode and start afresh at the French Open.