Maria Sakkari lost to Katie Boulter in three sets, 4-6 6-3 6-2, on Thursday. Speaking to reporters, the Greek player complained about the linesmen who served during the match. "Yeah they are terrible. Since the first round", Sakkari said.
"They’re the worst I’ve ever seen in my life. This is unacceptable. Because we have many players in the top 100, we are playing with poor balls, nine and 11 change, and with line umpires that have never worked in their life.
That’s what I want to say.’ Sakkari also backed for a hawk eye introduction: "The chair umpires are great, but the line umpires are the worst I have ever seen in my life. ‘There were mistakes for both sides, I am not saying that they always do mistakes only for us, but of course there are more mistakes for our side.
But there were quite a lot of mistakes. ‘I think it’s very tough for all the players to play with very bad line umpires on court. We are used to playing with very good professionals and we come here, it’s a very high level Fed Cup tie, we need to have good professionals on our court.’ Lawn Tennis Association tournament director Rebecca James defended the tournament officials and insists they were all up to scratch.
‘The officials selected for this event by the Association of British Tennis Officials have all worked at the highest levels of the game, she said. ‘The chair umpires are internationally certified and selected by the ITF.
The lines people are all paid LTA licenced officials, who have all worked Wimbledon semi-finals and finals between them, including many on previous Davis Cup world group ties.’ Meanwhile Johanna Konta defeated Dalila Jakupovic 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 to conquer the tie for Great Britain against Greece.
Konta said: ‘I think it just reiterated the many reasons I have to trust in myself. Experiences like this are what I draw from when I’m next in the same position. It’s not the first time I’ve been down in a tie-break or down in a set or even up in a set or for things to just come and go.
I just really tried to stick to that process and stay calm because there was every reason for me to stay calm. The level of the match was reasonably good. I was up and down in parts, but I thought I was competing well and I just tried to trust that more than anything”.Speaking about the experience of playing at home for the first time.
It’s very different. I think obviously what comes with a Fed Cup tie is very different. It’s our first time playing at home so I don’t have anything to compare it to. If they are all like this, we are pretty damn lucky."