David Nalbandian calls for action against umpire following controversial exit


Furious David Nalbandian tonight demanded action against umpire Kader Nouni after a controversial end to his second-round match against John Isner at the Australian Open.

After an epic struggle reached 8-8 in the deciding set and with Nalbandian on break point, Nouni overruled a linesperson who had called out an Isner ace.

Not only did television replays show Nouni had made a mistake - the ball was indeed wide - he then compounded the error by refusing Nalbandian the right to challenge via Hawk-Eye due to the time taken by the Argentinian to make the decision amid the confusion.

Isner duly held and then broke a clearly livid Nalbandian in the next game to complete a 4-6 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7/5) 10-8 victory.

"I asked for Hawk-Eye as he made an overrule. I say 'okay, I see the mark, I challenge', not a big deal, but he didn't want to do it," said Nalbandian.

"How many times do we check the mark and ask for Hawk-Eye?

"So somebody from the umpires or ATP can explain this situation. I mean, what is this? This is a grand slam.

"I haven't seen the video but I don't think it was too late to call. John said, 'yeah, ask'.

"It's ridiculous playing this kind of tournament with this kind of umpire.

"Eight-all, break point. Can you be that stupid to do that in that moment?

"What does the umpire need, press, the name, his picture (in the paper) tomorrow? Incredible."

Asked whether he felt Nouni was incapable of taking charge of this kind of match, Nalbandian said: "Absolutely. No doubt.

"Nothing happened in the match, and in that moment, he called an overrule. I call Hawk-Eye, and he didn't give it.

"I have never seen something like that. So the ATP have to check what they doing for the umpires.

"Do they practise? I don't know."

Nalbandian ruled out making an official protest, though, believing the evidence was already out there.

"If they really want to do something, I don't need to do anything, because it's on the TV, on the video," he added.

"But every time we talk to the ATP, it's like nothing, so what is the ATP for, the players or for somebody else?"

Isner, who plays Feliciano Lopez in round three, told ESPN immediately afterwards: "I didn't know what was going on as I was towelling off. I guess I was just a little luckier out there."