Monday, June 20, 2011

Schiavone goes from set point to finals loss after umpire’s overrule

Francesca Schiavone thought she had a set point. When Li Na's ball sailed wide on a deuce point at 6-5 in the second set, the defending French Open champion believed she was one point away from forcing a third set in this year's final. Running through her mind could have been the thought of snatching away any momentum the Chinese player gained after cruising to a first set win and laying that seed of doubt in Li's mind that maybe, just maybe, she had blown her best chance to win a -- and then an abrupt change. Before Schiavone would have had a chance to run through the scenarios in her mind, the call was overturned.

Chair umpire Louise Engzell ran onto the court, inspected the ball mark left by Li's shot and overruled the call made by the linesman. Point, Li Na. Advantage, Li Na.

Schiavone argued. She insisted that the ball bounced wide of the line and that she should have won the point. Engzell looked again at the mark, which wasn't on the line as much as it was immediately adjacent to it. There was no clay in between the mark and the line, nor any indication from the mark that the ball had landed on it either.

Schiavone lost the ensuing argument. In frustration, she fully circled the mark as Engzell went back to the chair.

Schiavone lost the next point, leading to a tiebreaker. Then she dropped the next seven after that to lose the match in straight sets. In all, the Italian lost eight straight points after the overrule.

Shania Twain Gwen Stefani Sunny Mabrey Karolína Kurková Laura Harring

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