Wimbledon: Karlovic hits out at ‘bias’ after defeat to Andy Murray
ANDY Murray’s vanquished opponent, Ivo Karlovic, last night accused Wimbledon of being biased against him following his four-set defeat by the Scot.
Murray, the No 4 seed, won 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 in a gruelling Centre Court battle in which his Croatian opponent was foot-faulted 11 times. Karlovic said he only ever foot-faulted once or, at most, twice in matches, and claimed that, not only the All England Club officials, but the whole of the United Kingdom were so desperate for Murray to win that they were prepared to bend the rules.
“In my whole life I didn’t do this many foot-faults,” Karlovic said after the second-round match. “It was never called when it was 30-0 or 40-0. It was always when it was 30-30 or in a tie-break. After this match the whole credibility of the tournament went down for me.
“I stand a little back [from the baseline when serving] so they cannot call. They still called. It was outrageous, outrageous, “It’s Wimbledon, Centre Court, and they do this. I mean, this is bias. Normally my left leg is on the line, but I went back and they still did it. Maybe I did it but I don’t usually do it. In my whole life I didn’t do 11. Yesterday was one.
“I don’t know if there is anything I can do about it,” he continued when asked if he intended to make the matter further. “There should be Hawk-Eye also looking at it so I could challenge it.
“Right now I’m angry about it, little bit pissed, because I don’t expect it here. Even if it is against English guy who they always want to win, but I don’t expect it here.”
Karlovic then corrected that mistaken nationality when asked if he really thought that he had been foot-faulted so often because Wimbledon were so desperate for Murray to win. “Not Wimbledon, but whole England – or UK, sorry.” Asked if he really thought that the officials had been biased, he replied: “Definitely.”
Given Karlovic’s evident strength of feeling about the issue it was remarkable that he held himself together so well during an absorbing struggle fought out on a baking Centre Court. He appeared to be wilting towards the end of the second set but fought back to level at a set apiece then, after again going a set behind, took the fourth set all the way to the tie-break until Murray eventually proved just too good.
It was a genuine test for the British No 1 after his first-round stroll against Nikolay Davydenko and, speaking after Karlovic, he praised the fight put up by his opponent and refrained from hitting back too fiercely over the accusations of bias. “That’s very tough to question the integrity of Wimbledon, I would have thought,” said Murray, who now meets Marcos Baghdatis in tomorrow’s third round. “I mean, it’s got a lot of history, a lot of tradition.
“There’s been hundreds of thousands of matches played here over the years. I’ve never heard that before.
“But I need to see the videos. If there was 11 foot-faults against him and every one was incorrect, then that’s completely wrong and unfair. But, for it to happen that many times, you would think there would have been a number of fairly obvious foot-faults, because you don’t really see them called that much nowadays. Very rare.
“If it turns out that he wasn’t foot-faulting, if I was him I’d be very, very disappointed.”
Murray was equally diplomatic when asked about the issue of equal pay for men and women, which Gilles Simon of France raised earlier in the week. He said that male players agreed it was easier for women to play singles and doubles at the same tournament as their events are best of three sets as opposed to the men’s best of five. But he also suggested that Simon and Sergei Stakhovsky, who has also tried to reignite the debate, had an ulterior motive.
“There’s things that we [the male players] will agree on. It’s not always just about equal pay. It’s about the way the men’s and women’s tournaments differ, I guess.
“But I think it was him [Simon] and Stakhovsky. I think both of them have been elected to the Player Council and have been a little outspoken.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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