Great Britain won the Fed Cup last Friday but their victory against Greece was shadowed by controversial line calls. Johanna Konta’s opponent, Maria Sakkari condemned the line judges saying:
“The chair umpires are great, but the line umpires are the worst I have ever seen in my life. There were mistakes for both sides, I am not saying that they always do mistakes only for us, but of course there are more mistakes for our side.”
“I think it’s very tough for all the players to play with very bad line umpires on court. We are used to playing with very good professionals and we come here, it’s a very high level Fed Cup tie, we need to have good professionals on our court.”
Meanwhile, Katie Boulter’s opponent, Valentini Grammatikopoulou suggested the home judges were not playing fair: “We played in Britain against the country but I respect the player and it’s not about how she played, it’s about fair play. If the ball was out I accept. If the ball was in I accept. But not if it’s really clear out.”
However, the Greek players were not the only ones complaining about bad calls, Boulter herself also complained during the match: “There were a couple of bad calls here or there, whether they were good or bad I don’t know. There was a let that I thought wasn’t called – it goes both ways.”
The event is being held in Britain for the first time in 26 years, and unfortunately it does not have Hawk-Eye technology to review line calls. So, even though both sides were on the end of calls that looked wrong, the players had no choice but to accept the decision.
Britain were diplomatic in their response, Rebecca James, the Lawn Tennis Association tournament director stated: “The officials selected for this event by the Association of British Tennis Officials (ABTO) have all worked at the highest levels of the game. The chair umpires are internationally certified and selected by the ITF. The lines people are all paid, LTA licensed officials, who have worked Wimbledon semi-finals between them, including many on previous Davis Cup World Group ties.”