(Reuters) – Eighth seed Jack Sock overcame a temporary Hawkeye breakdown, and a subsequent emotional outburst, to edge 90th-ranked Romanian Marius Copil 7-6(2) 7-6(6) in the second round at the Citi Open in Washington on Tuesday.
At 5-5 and 15-all in the first set, Sock became highly irritated when the technology used to check disputed line calls failed to work after he challenged a call.
Sock looked incredulous when chair umpire Fergus Murphy announced the linesperson’s call would have to stand in view of the breakdown.
“I feel very good on that ball being in so that could change the match obviously,” Sock said to Murphy, pleading with the chair umpire to overrule the call.
“That’s ridiculous,” the American continued when Murphy refused to budge. “It’s your job to see that and you can’t see that.”
Realising his appeal was futile, Sock returned to action and eventually prevailed, if only barely in a match in which neither player faced a break point.
In the following clash, top seed Dominic Thiem served well for a comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over Henri Laaksonen.
In his first appearance since a tough fourth-round loss at Wimbledon, Austrian Thiem did not face a break point in an impressive performance in front of a modest evening crowd at Rock Creek Park.
In women’s action, top seed Simona Halep overcame a slow start to beat American Sloane Stephens 7-6(3) 6-0 in an uninspiring first-round match.
Halep, moaning with almost every shot, made 23 unforced errors, but a rusty Stephens committed more than twice that number in her second event since last August’s Rio Olympics.
Stephens, the 2015 champion, made her comeback at Wimbledon recently after being out for nearly a year due to foot surgery. Her lack of match readiness showed.
“That was a very tough first set,” said a relieved world number two Halep.
Stephens said it was still “hard” on the comeback path.
“You don’t really know what to expect from yourself. I didn’t play badly.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)