French tennis player Jo Wilfried Tsonga has dropped a potential bombshell by claiming that the chair umpire in his Quarter Final match against Rafael Nadal was biased towards the Spaniard and this was evident in some of the calls that were made by him throughout the duration of the match. Nadal, who is fighting to win his first ever title at the Miami Masters defeated the Frenchman by a score of 5-2, 5-7, 6-4 and when he heard the comments made by Tsonga, he was quick to dismiss them as rubbish.
Tsonga made his complaints heard throughout the match and afterwards as well saying that whenever any border line call went against him, the chair umpire for the match Damian Steiner was extremely reluctant to overrule them. According to Jo Wilfried Tsonga, it was extremely unfair on the part of the umpire, adding further that whenever it was close for Rafael, he would never call it as ‘out’. Moreover, he also stated that if Nadal did not like him anymore, he would not be chair umpire so many times in so many Semi Final and Final matches, in a way, pointing his finger at the former world number one.
He further added that he lost his concentration once he started to keep an eye out for the border line calls in the case he needed to challenge them, thereby costing him the match. Many players have, since the introduction of hawk eye, stated that it makes the umpires more reluctant to overrule the line calls by the linesmen but no one has accused an umpire of such a crime, so to speak.
However, Nadal vehemently denied the claims of Jo Wilfried Tsonga, saying that his frustration at not being able to perform well got the better of him and it was just its effects.