Serious freak out at the ATP tournament in Shanghai! After missing a match point, tennis professional Marc Polmans (26) completely lost his nerve on Tuesday (October 3, 2023) and hit a ball uncontrollably and with full force.
The British chair umpire Ben Anderson suffers more when he gets the felt ball right in the face. Not only painful from a short distance, but really dangerous.
Tennis professional hits referee right in the face
The scene also has consequences for Polmans: Instead of possibly earning another match point in the tiebreak of the second set when the score was 6:6, the game is over for him. Defeat due to disqualification! The ATP will still decide on further penalties.
Polmans, number 140 in the world, had literally had the qualifying match on his racket before, but put a backhand volley into the net on his match point. Instead of Polmans, his opponent Stefano Napolitano (28) from Italy is now in the main field of the highly prized Masters tournament.
You can see a video of the scene here:
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“There is no excuse for this,” wrote Polman’s compatriot John Millman (34) on X (formerly Twitter) about the freak out. “I really hope the referee is okay. They (the referees, editor’s note) should be safe in their working environment.” But Millman also emphasized how unsafe his tennis colleague now feels. “He’s probably the nicest person I know.”
In tennis, it often happens that players take out their frustration on rackets or balls. If they hit someone – whether intentionally or unintentionally – the referees are required to disqualify the professionals. In 2020, the US Open ended prematurely for Novak Djokovic because he carelessly hit a ball backwards and hit a lines judge in the neck.
Arnaud Gabas found out six years ago that such an action can be really dangerous. The French referee was hit by a frustrated punch from Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who was only 17 at the time, during a Davis Cup match in 2017 and suffered a fractured eye socket. Shapovalov promised at the time that he would never do anything like that again.
Ben Anderson was now luckier than his referee colleague. Initial reports said the Scot was “okay” despite being hit in the face.
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