Taylor Fritz, Ben Shelton slam Cristian Garin, umpire over 'insane' Estoril scene

Fritz, Shelton and Cornet give their take on a controversial incident that happened during the Garin and Nuno Borges match in Estoril.

by Dzevad Mesic
Taylor Fritz, Ben Shelton slam Cristian Garin, umpire over 'insane' Estoril scene
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Taylor Fritz and Ben Shelton ripped Cristian Garin over his handling of the Estoril Open situation with Nuno Borges, while WTA's Alize Cornet pointed out that chair umpire Christian Rask also once made a very questionable decision during one of her US Open matches. 

During Friday's Estoril quarterfinal match between Garin and Borges, one highly questionable situation happened as many were left stunned after the Chilean was awarded a point that many believed should have been given to the Portuguese. 

Facing a break point in the sixth game of the second set, one of Garin's shots went deep - Borges returned it - but as the Portuguese was returning it, someone from the crowd called out. Garin still proceeded to hit a forehand - which went out by a considerable distance. After missing the shot, Garin instantly turned to the chair umpire and started complaining that he was distracted and that Borges stopped.

It was a messy situation but many expected the point to be either awarded to Borges - which would have given the Portuguese a 5-3 second-set lead - or to have the point replayed. But then, chair umpire Rask left the entire stadium shocked after he gave Garin the point. 

Garin then went on to win that game and eventually seal a 6-2 7-6 (3) win over Borges. 

On social media, Garin faced criticism and scrutiny, not just from fans but also from fellow players. 

"Idk (I don't know) what world we are in where Borges somehow loses that point... THAT'S INSANE," Fritz commented under an Instagram post.

Fellow American Shelton responded to Fritz's comment by stating: "Facts."

Taylor Fritz and Ben Shelton
Taylor Fritz and Ben Shelton © Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Cornet also joined in the conversation as she took a shot at chair umpire Christian Rask: "That's the same chair umpire that gave me a code violation for changing my shirt at the US Open a few years ago... just saying."

Just like Fritz, Shelton and Cornet, Kyrgios also criticized Garin

Following his win over Borges, former world No. 17 Garin defended himself and pretty much suggested that he wasn't fully sure what happened during a controversial moment from the sixth game of the second set. 

“He stopped the point. I stopped too. I don’t know if it’s my point or if we should replay it. Need to check it. I will check it later. The atmosphere was crazy after that and I’m very proud of myself. It was kind of annoying during the match…” Garin said after the match when asked about the incident.

After this comment, Kyrgios ripped Garin as he asked the Chilean on X: "How could you possibly say you won that point? Just because he stops moving doesn’t mean he stopped the point? Best case a replay. YOU MISSED THE BALL IN THE TRAM LINE. How can you win that point?"

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

What Borges had to say after the incident with Garin?

27-year-old Borges refused to be too harsh in his criticism but he did make it clear that he wasn't happy with either chair umpire Rask or Garin.

"I left the court without understanding the umpire’s judgment. He knows he made a mistake," Borges said about the incident. 

"It didn’t make any sense. Point shouldn’t stop because someone in the crowd shouts. He felt something coming from the crowd but we continued but he missed. Garin told me he missed because I stopped. It’s not his fault, but he doesn’t look good in this situation as well…"

Nuno Borges
Nuno Borges © Getty Images Sport - Phil Walter

After overcoming Borges in the Estoril quarterfinal and catching some harsh criticism, Garin exited the tournament the following day after No. 2 seed Hubert Hurkacz handed the Chilean a 6-3 3-6 6-3 loss in the semifinal.

Hurkacz made a very strong start to the match, claiming an early break for a 3-0 lead. In the eighth game, Hurkacz missed out on his first set point on Garin's serve but realized his third set point when serving for the first set in the ninth game.

Down by a set, Garin bounced back at the start of the second set, earning his first break of the match for a 3-0 lead. Garin then held on to his serve for the remainder of the second set to force a decider.

After easily losing the second set, Hurkacz kept his cool and responded impressively, having started the third set with breaks in the second and sixth games for a comfortable 5-1 lead. Garin managed to get one break back in the seventh game but Hurkacz made no mistake when serving for the match for the second time in the ninth game.

Taylor Fritz Ben Shelton Cristian Garin