Tim triumphant as Greg lets fly a four-letter volley

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The Independent Online

The BBC was forced to apologise to viewers after Greg Rusedski, in an Australian Open clash with fellow Briton Tim Henman broadcast live on BBC1, directed a volley of abuse at the umpire reminiscent of John McEnroe in his foul-mouthed prime.

The British number two succumbed to the pressure during the much-hyped "Battle of Britain" when a line call went against him. In front of 15,000 spectators in Melbourne, he swore at the Swiss umpire, Andreas Egli, and branded him "an embarrassment".

The disputed ball came at a crucial point in the second set when Henman, who went on to win in four sets to gain a place in the last 16, was leading by five games to three.

Rusedski, convinced the ball had been out, threw his arms up and yelled: "The ball was out! The ball was this far out." He turned on the umpire and uttered a four-letter expletive, demanding: "Are you blind? It's unbelievable!"

The umpire came in for further abuse during the break when Rusedski told him: "You are an embarrassment to yourself. How can you miss that call? The ball was this far long. What are you looking at? Are you watching the match?"

Television replays showed that the ball might just have caught the back edge of the line, proving Rusedski wrong.