Emma Raducanu bluntly rips umpires after Nottingham first-round win

Raducanu may have won her Nottingham opener but she wasn't happy with officiating.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Emma Raducanu bluntly rips umpires after Nottingham first-round win
© Getty Images Sport - Nathan Stirk

Emma Raducanu made it clear she wasn't happy with officiating following her first-round win at a WTA 250 tournament in Nottingham as the British tennis player said at moments she felt like she was "playing two versus one."

On Tuesday, home favorite Raducanu kicked off her Nottingham campaign with a 6-1 6-4 win over 274th-ranked qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

Early in the first set, one of Shibahara's volleys was called out but chair umpire Ana Carvalho overturned the call and the Japanese was awarded the point. Raducanu wasn't happy with the overrule and she was heard telling chair umpire Carvalho that Shibahara reacted in a way that suggested that she accepted that the ball went wide. 

Had Raducanu won that point, she would have had a break point to potentially go 3-0 up in the first set. But instead, Shibahara got a game point and realized to get on the board. 

Then serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set, Raducanu thought one of Shibahara's was well wide. But the umpires remained silent and Raducanu lost that point since she didn't manage to return the ball in play. The 21-year-old Briton wasn't happy at all as she was heard remarking that it was "a really bad call."

Raducanu got broken back in that game but still won the match in two sets after breaking Shibahara in the 10th game - the game in which the Japanese was serving to stay in the match.

“I mean, I feel like I was playing two versus one on court, it was insane. I would have used probably at least four challenges," Raducanu said after the match, via PA news agency.

“I think a lot of the time they go both ways, today I felt they were all against me, but it just makes me feel better than I managed to beat her and the umpire as well. It is difficult when there is no challenge, but it is something everyone has to deal with.

“You can be fortunate in some ways, maybe it was just trying to make the match more competitive, it was 6-1 and 5-1 and all of a sudden first point serving at 5-3 it’s a really bad line call. It’s something I had to deal with and overcome. I am very pleased with the attitude I came out with from the get-go and also having to deal with the adversity.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Nathan Stirk
 

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) statement on Raducanu's complaints 

So far in her short career, Raducanu has never been known as someone who complains about officiating or umpires. Because of that, it is fair to presume that the Briton thought the umpires did a really poor since she decided to publicly throw them under the bus. 

Meanwhile, the LTA - the governing body of British tennis - defended themselves by acknowledging that the majority of WTA 250 tournaments still use line umpires - who they consider "highly-trained." However, the LTA left the door open to making changes in that regard in the future.

“In line with many other events at WTA 250 level we use line umpires," the LTA said in a statement to the PA news agency. 

“Line umpires are an important part of national and international tournaments in Britain and we have a highly-trained workforce. Along with the rest of tour events, we will be moving to electronic line calling for ATP Tour-level events in 2025. This continues to be a topic that we discuss with the WTA at our tournament meetings.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Nathan Stirk
 

Raducanu happy with how she performed in her grass-season opener

Right from the start of the match, Raducanu looked like she meant business as she broke Shibahara in the first, fifth and seventh games to easily win the first set. 

In the second set, Raducanu claimed two early breaks and opened a 5-1 lead. Then, Raducanu suffered a collapse and twice failed to serve out for the match but managed to keep her focus and complete a two-set win.

“I was very pleased to come through that, it wasn’t easy. I haven’t played in a match for a while, playing someone who comes through qualifying and is used to the conditions, I am very pleased to have won that match," Raducanu said.

“And more just happy with how I was in myself. My demeanor was great, my attitude was great, that is the most important thing and if I have that then I know the tennis will follow.

“An element of me forgot what it was like to play at home and have that support behind and it is amazing, it’s a great feeling."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Nathan Stirk
 

In the Nottingham round-of-16, Raducanu plays against world No. 127 Daria Snigur.

Emma Raducanu
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