Milos Raonic was a winner this evening over Juan Martin Del Potro in Montreal, but the Canadian star may have lost more fans and respect than he gained in his 7-5, 6-4 controversial victory. That’s for sure.
It was a much-anticipated match between the hot Washington winner Del Potro and the rising star Raonic who was looking to make a big breakthrough on his home soil. But injuries got in the way. Del Potro’s late finish last night left his back in distress while Raonic used a 12-minute MTO early in the affair to tend to an arm ailment.
The key moment in the match – and one that will be talked about for many moons – came late in the second set with Del Potro serving up a break at 4-3, deuce. In an effort to finish off a short ball from Del Potro, Roanic’s momentum took his left foot into the net. Chair umpire Mohammed Layhani somehow missed the violation awarding the point to Raonic. An upset Del Potro didn’t.
On replay, showed on the big screen to the entire crowd, Raonic clearly touched the net with his left foot and his facial expression indicated as much. But the 22-year-old didn’t follow the honor code and when Layhani gave him the point he took it and kept quiet.
And Raonic didn’t lose another point after breaking Del Potro then closing out the sarcastically smiling Argentine winning the next two games.
According to a series of tweets from match announcer Robbie Koenig, Raonic said he was lucky to not get the call from the umpire.
“I was fortunate that line judge didn’t see it. It’s a lucky thing for me in my sense, unlucky for him…
“Something that can go really both ways. It’s sort of the exact same thing as having no challenges left and you get a bad line call..
“It’s like a bad luck thing. It was hard to sort of be able to take this point on such a big point.”
Except Raonic, who comes from a high-IQ family, chose to take the point instead of displaying honesty and sportsmanship in front of his home crowd. Raonic knew he hit the net, everyone saw it except Layhani. But he kept quiet – it’s up to the umpire to make the right call, he argued.
What an absolute missed opportunity for the 22-year-old to set the example.
A disconsolate Del Potro offered this response on twitter, “Very upset after the match I lost. About the end… I think everybody saw what happened. Thanks for your support.”
You hear announcer Sam Gore in the video declare at the end it was a “great day for Canadian tennis”, which it was with Vasek Pospisil winning, but was it a great day for Milos Raonic?
Q. DelPo was upset in the second set, felt you touched the net. What was your view of that point?
MILOS RAONIC: I was fortunate that the line judge didn’t see it. It’s a lucky thing for me in my sense, unlucky for him. Something that can go really both ways.
It’s sort of the exact same thing as having no challenges left and you get a bad line call. It’s like a bad‑luck thing. It was hard to sort of be able to take this point on such a big point.
Q. He seemed to think you should have called it on yourself.
MILOS RAONIC: It’s a big point. I don’t know. If you can put somebody in the situation being down breakpoint, same thing happens, do you call it on yourself?
Q. But it was his point.
MILOS RAONIC: Hypothetically yes. Technically no.
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