By Pritha Sarkar
LONDON (Reuters) – A hot-headed Viktor Troicki added his name to Wimbledon’s hall of shame on Thursday after he blew his top at umpire Damiano Torella following an over-rule in the dying seconds of his second-round defeat by Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Ramos-Vinolas was serving for the match at 5-3 30-30 in the fifth set when his first serve was called out but immediately over-ruled by Italian Torella, handing match point to the Spaniard.
Troicki roared his disapproval and chased to retrieve the ball, marching towards Torella to show him that there was no white chalk on it and complaining bitterly that there was no way the ball could have hit the line.
“No way, look at it,” the Serbian 27th seed ranted at the official before angrily belting the ball outside Court 17 and into the grounds of the All England Club.
“Worst umpire ever in the world,” he added.
“What are you doing? Did you see the ball? You’re so bad,” he added gesturing wildly with his arms.
The outburst earned Troicki a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct but he was still not done with the umpire.
Once Ramos-Vinolas had wrapped up a 3-6 6-3 6-3 2-6 6-3 victory just one point later with an unreturnable serve, Troicki continued to berate Torella.
“Do you know what you did? Do you know what you did? Do you know what you did?” Troicki said with his voice rising with each question as he wagged his index finger at Torella.
The exchange drew jeers and cheers from the bemused Court 17 crowd before Troicki marched off and headed directly to the referee’s office.
The monumental meltdown is not only likely to earn Troicki a considerable fine from the All England Club, it also cemented his place among the bad boys of tennis.
Jeff Tarango famously accused Bruno Rebeuh of being “the most corrupt official in the game” before storming off court mid-match following a dispute in 1995.
Original Wimbledon superbrat John McEnroe was rather amused by Thursday’s episode as it brought back memories of his own infamous tantrum from 35 years ago.
“You can’t be serious, man. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! That ball was on the line! Chalk flew up! It was clearly in! You guys are the absolute pits of the world,” the petulant American screamed at an umpire in 1981.
On Thursday, when the more mature McEnroe was asked by a fellow commentator: “Would you say that was disgraceful behaviour?”
The American quipped: “Yes. By the umpire! He should have said “the chalk didn’t fly up” and that would have ended the discussion.”
(Additional reporting by Martyn Herman,; Editing by Ed Osmond)