/ 4 July 2006

Tursunov calls Wimbledon umpire an ‘idiot’

Dmitry Tursunov expects he’ll be fined for an outburst during his fourth-round loss at Wimbledon on Monday. If not, a few things the Russian said in his news conference — such as calling the chair umpire an ”idiot” — should do the trick.

After losing his service in the 15th game of the fifth set to give Jarkko Nieminen an 8-7 lead, Tursunov hit a ball in anger towards chair umpire Fergus Murphy. The Irish official ruled that Tursunov had deliberately tried to hit him and gave him a point penalty.

When Nieminen lined up to serve for the match, Murphy told the Finnish player to serve first from the ”ad” court, and the score showed Tursunov trailing 15-0. Five minutes later, Nieminen completed a four-hour, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-7 (6), 9-7 win.

When the match ended, Tursunov tugged at Murphy’s hand and appeared to attempt to pull Murphy toward him so he could speak to him.

What did he tell him? ”Good match, ” Tursunov deadpanned, then added: ”It probably wasn’t something positive, I’ll tell you that.”

Tursunov said he’s had problems with Murphy in his last three matches that Murphy has been in the chair.

”I’m not going to go into details, but I think he’s a bad referee,” Tursunov said. ”Maybe it’s something personal now. But I think he’s terrible. You know, if the guy’s an idiot, the guy’s an idiot.”

When told that Murphy was a veteran chair umpire, Tursunov said, ”Just because he’s been doing it for many years doesn’t mean he’s doing a good job.”

”Saddam Hussein has been in Iraq for a while, but not too many people agree with his point of view,” Tursunov added.

Nieminen, who plays Rafael Nadal in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, also had a fit of temper, bouncing his racket off the court surface and into the crowd in the third game of the final set and receiving a point penalty himself from Murphy.

”I’m usually a very calm guy,” Nieminen said. ”I was swinging, swinging the air, just frustrated. And then I was sweating so much, my racket slipped.” – Sapa-AP