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Watch: Rafael Nadal's heated exchange with umpire at Brisbane International for time violation

Published at :January 5, 2024 at 11:31 AM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 11:28 AM
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(Courtesy : AP Photo)

Ajay Gandhar

The Spaniard has booked place in quarterfinals.

Rafael Nadal, the former world no. 1, is back in the spotlight, but this time not for his tennis exploits or his much-awaited return to the tour. Instead, it’s for an unusual time violation that occurred during his second-round match at the Brisbane International 2024.

The Spaniard, who had been out for almost a year, made an impressive comeback on Tuesday night against former US Open champion and good friend, Dominic Thiem. In his first professional singles match in about an year, he secured a victory with a score of 7-5, 6-1.

Carrying that good form into the second round, Nadal made a quick start against local player Jason Kubler, taking the first set 6-2. However, after the opener, he opted to take a toilet break and allegedly exceeded the allotted time. According to ATP rules, a player is allowed only one break per match, lasting three minutes, plus an additional two minutes if they change their clothes.

Upon his return, the chair umpire informed a confused Nadal about the time violation. The Spaniard questioned the umpire, asking if he really had to issue a warning. The umpire conceded that he indeed had to respect the match assistant’s call. This exchange, which ended with both the umpire and Nadal giggling, was met with mixed reactions from the crowd, with a majority booing the decision.

Despite the violation, Nadal’s performance remained commanding. He closed out the second set 6-1, delighting the crowd. The 22-time grand slam champion has now secured a place in the quarterfinals, where he will face another Australian, Jordan Thompson.

This incident serves as a reminder of the strict regulations in professional tennis and the challenges players sometimes face in adhering to them. Despite the minor hiccup, Nadal’s return to form signals exciting times ahead for tennis fans.

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