French Open

Photo taken of ball mark

2013-05-28 10:00
Sergiy Stakhovsky (AFP)
Paris - Picture this: Angered by a line call, a tennis player pulls out his phone and uses it to snap a photo of the mark left in the clay by the ball.

Maybe the sort of thing that would happen at a public court, if two pals got into a tiff during a match and one wanted evidence for later - except in this case, it was a professional who did it at the French Open.

Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine set down his racket and briefly became an amateur photographer in his 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 loss to seventh-seeded Richard Gasquet of France in the first round of the Grand Slam tournament Monday.

Stakhovsky plans to show the picture to the tournament supervisor in hopes of avoiding losing some of his prize money.

"I'm now expecting a fine, actually, so I'm going to go and fight," Stakhovsky said.

"I believe it was a bad call, it was a bad judgment. After all, we are playing on clay, where you should be clearly able to read the mark," he added, "and unfortunately, not all of our referees are able to do so."

During the first set on Court Suzanne Lenglen, the 101st-ranked Stakhovsky hit a shot that landed right along a line. The ball was ruled out, but Stakhovsky was sure it was in.

He argued with the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, who wouldn't change the decision. So Stakhovsky decided to gather proof for his case, getting his phone and walking over to where the spot in question was, then leaning over to get a close-up of the red clay.

"It was just spontaneous. It's never thought through," he said. "When you see it, you get frustrated, because you saw the ball is nowhere being out and the frustrations comes in."

Asked by a reporter to show the photo, Stakhovsky obliged, grabbing his phone from a pocket.

"Everybody wants to see it," he said with a chuckle.

Stakhovsky said it wasn't even the first time he'd done this: He pulled a similar stunt during the clay court tournament at Munich last month.

"Munich was a very close call which could go both ways, so I didn't really bother going to the supervisor and asking. But this one is in a Grand Slam, so first of all, the fine is actually there, possibly, (and) I don't want to get it. So I'll try to explain myself. I don't know if it's going to work."

At a clay event in Rome this month, another pro, Viktor Troicki of Serbia, ushered a TV cameraman out onto the court to get video evidence of a ball mark he was sure showed a call was incorrect.

"I saw that," Stakhovsky said, then offered a critique of the camerawork on that occasion, saying the angle was all wrong: "They came from the side, so you couldn't see the mark."

Gasquet, for his part, agreed the call on Monday was quite close and said he wasn't bothered a bit by Stakhovsky's antics.

"It's funny. It's not a problem," Gasquet said. "He's a funny guy. I think he's one of the funniest guys in the draw. For sure, it's not usual to see that, but I can understand he's frustrated."

First Round French Open results on (x denotes seeded player):


First Round:

Ryan Harrison (USA) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
John Isner (USA x19) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Rafael Nadal (ESP x3) bt Daniel Brands (GER) 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-3
Martin Klizan (SVK) bt Michael Russell (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 - retired
Lukás Rosol (CZE) bt Pere Riba (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Fabio Fognini (ITA x27) bt Andreas Beck (GER) 6-3, 7-5, 6-3
Grega Zemlja (SLO) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-1, 6-4, 6-1
Kei Nishikori (JPN x13) bt Jesse Levine (CAN) 6-3, 6-2, 6-0
Robin Haase (NED) bt Kenny De Schepper (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-3
Jerzy Janowicz (POL x21) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 6-3
Michal Przysiezny (POL) bt Rhyne Williams (USA) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 7-5
Richard Gasquet (FRA x7) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-1, 6-4, 6-3
Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Tomas Berdych (CZE x5) 7-6 (10/8), 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-7 (4/7), 7-5
Ernests Gulbis (LAT) bt Rogério Dutra Silva (BRA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3
Igor Sijsling (NED) bt Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
Tommy Robredo (ESP x32) bt Jurgen Zopp (EST) 6-3, 6-2, 6-1
Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) bt Martín Alund (ARG) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
Nicolas Almagro (ESP x11) bt Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 7-6 (9/7), 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP x31) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Albert Montañés (ESP) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x6) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) bt Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (11/9), 4-6, 6-2
Daniel Gimeno (ESP) bt Juan Monaco (ARG x17) 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-4
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Radek Stepanek (CZE) 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (10/8), 7-6 (13/11)
Marin Cilic (CRO x10) bt Philipp Petzschner (GER) 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
Pablo Cuevas (URU) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5
Julien Benneteau (FRA x30) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/5)
Tobias Kamke (GER) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 0-6, 6-3


First round

Johanna Larsson (SWE) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 6-2, 6-3
Roberta Vinci (ITA x15) bt Stéphanie Foretz (FRA) 6-3, 6-0
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x10) bt Laura Robson (GBR) 6-3, 6-2
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) bt Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová (CZE) 6-3, 6-2
Magdaléna Rybáriková (SVK) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-0, 6-1
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) bt Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x22) 6-4, 6-2
Varvara Lepchenko (USA x29) bt Mirjana Lucic (CRO) 6-1, 6-2
Elina Svitolina (UKR) bt Romina Oprandi (SUI) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
Jana Cepelová (SVK) bt Christina McHale (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-4
Angelique Kerber (GER x8) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 7-6 (8/6), 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x4) bt Shahar Peer (ISR) 6-1, 6-1
Zuzana Kucová (SVK) bt Julia Görges (GER x24) 7-6 (10/8), 6-0
Mathilde Johansson (FRA) bt Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 7-5, 6-1
Madison Keys (USA) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-3, 6-2
Carla Suárez (ESP x20) bt Simona Halep (ROM) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
María Teresa Torró (ESP) bt Julia Glushko (ISR) 6-2, 7-5
Li Na (CHN x6) bt Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 6-3, 6-4
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) bt Lourdes Domínguez (ESP) 6-4, 6-1
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) bt Tatjana Malek (GER) 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) bt Melinda Czink (HUN) 6-0, 7-6 (7/1)
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) bt Karolína Plísková (CZE) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Vania King (USA) bt Alexandra Cadantu (ROM) 7-6 (7/3), 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA x17) bt Karin Knapp (ITA) 6-2, 7-5
Melanie Oudin (USA) bt Tamira Paszek (AUT x28) 6-4, 6-3
Zheng Jie(CHN) bt Vesna Manasieva (SRB) 6-4, 6-1
Eugénie Bouchard (CAN) bt Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 6-1, 7-6 (7/2)
Maria Sharapova (RUS x2) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 6-2, 6-1
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-0

Sergiy Stakhovsky takes a picture on the ball mark on his phone (AP)

Read more on:    french open  |  sergiy stakhovsky  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.