Watch Roger Federer Get Into a Heated Exchange with the Chair Umpire [Video]
by Tom Gainey | May 7th, 2011, 6:12 pm

In rare outburst, Roger Federer lost his cool with chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani today early in the second set of his Mutua Madrid Masters semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal. Federer played some great tennis stunning Nadal in the first set 75. But in the very first game of the second set Federer lost his composure with the chair umpire after stopping play on a ball he thought was out.

The shotspot replay, which was not in use, showed Federer was wrong and the ball was good. Lahyani checked the mark, called it in and per the video the Swiss was not pleased at all with the decision.

Federer, who played well, ended up losing 12 of the last 15 games giving Nadal the victory 57, 61, 62.

“I thought Rafa played well and me too at times so it was a good match,” said Federer. “It was it a good first set and even the second set at 6-1 doesn’t tell the truth and the third as well. I felt it was very close. Maybe the result doesn’t show as much but I thought I was right here.

“I think overall I played okay, I played the right way and at times it all worked and sometimes it didn’t just because of Rafa’s high level of play. He plays from start to finish on clay really solid and that was to be expected.”

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23 Comments for Watch Roger Federer Get Into a Heated Exchange with the Chair Umpire [Video]

madmax Says:

Tom so easy to be high on emotion for such a close point. The last thing that Roger federer is a liar. He is the most honorable person on the court when it comes to fair play. That’s why hawk eye should be used. I understand it’s tradition though and this will never happen.

If it’s available on hard court and grass court, it should be available on clay.

I happen to think that when Roger has a bit of a rant, it’s quite telling. He’s still hungry. That’s why we love Roger.

madmax Says:

Agreed with what Roger says about the scoreline. Cowan said that, the tennis played was a lot closer than the score line.

You had to watch the match to believe it.

Great match. Am heartened by Roger’s aggressive tennis today and smart play.

More of that next time, could just give him the edge. Rome equally is a fast playing court. Roger should take a lot of positives from his match today.

M Says:

I’m not getting a vid — just an exclamation mark.

jane Says:

M, I got the vid? Yes, Roger was uncharacteristically upset but you could see why. It was a crucial shift in momentum. But i think Roger maybe knew he should not have stopped play? I don’t know. But the announcers, the lines person, the t.v. Shot spot, and even the commentators all thought it was in. Yet in the heat of a point it is easy to misjudge. Too bad as i felt Fed lost some focus after that even though he kept battling.

Mila Says:

One thing – I’ve NEVER seen Novak or Rafael argue with the ref like this. Perhaps I’ve missed those occasions but am pretty sure it hasn’t happened. Today Novak had a truly ironic call at the net (racquet touch) that could have cost him the match, but he just smiled at the Argentinean ref and carried on.

With Federer and Roddick it’s another story. Refs should be tougher in cases such as this one – quick warning and they’ll stop acting this way.

skeezerweezer Says:

^Plus isn’t this the Ump Roddick and other players had a run in with? Me thinks they may also have a pre-judement about this guy, though don’t know what that is….

skeezerweezer Says:


Rafa argue with a Ref? You tube it. Novak I am not so sure… happens….heat of the battle and all. All in all these 3 have GREAT behavior and respect towards the Refs……except when it comes to obeying certain rules…but they own the show per se….

jane Says:

Mila, Nole was upset with a call during his loss to Melzer at the FO. It didn’t last too long though, nor was it carried over into the changeovers. But usually Nole just keeps it in, mumbles to himself, and roars after, ha ha. I have seen Rafa quite upset once or twice too, but I cannot remember the circumstances – was it an indoor match? Paris maybe?

Mila Says:

What got me this time was that disparaging comment from Roger: “you think he’s got a clue, he hasn’t got a clue” or something like that. That was directed to the line judge who, by the way, had a clue according to hawkeye :)

So arrogant it made me cringe, did not even apologize to the guy at the presser.

It appears that his true colors will show during the inevitable decline.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Agreed maybe un called for. I guess I need to watch the vid. Remember, Fed has played a zillion Career matches, you can’t
You tube and find very many though of him acting arrogant at anybody or wahtever. Like i said earlier, he deserves some slack overall he has been well behaved and respectful in his career on thr court.

SerbJoker Says:

This is the reason why he did not win the sportsmanship award last year.

All was well when he was winning.

Sore loser !!!

Skeezerweezer Says:


Yeah right he owns plenty of sportsmenship awards, how many does your fav have?

SerbJoker Says:


You are right, thats exactly my point.
Roger was winning those sportsmanship awards ONLY when he was winning a lot on court. Now he has become such a sore loser and an arrogant brat. But he still has loooong way to catch up with rod_dick.

someone Says:


I suppose Djokovic and Nadal are better sportsman? By continually violating the rules and wasting time in between serves. The rules clearly state that the time between serves is 25 sec but they always take at least 40 sec, but yet they are never punished.

Get real. This is cheating, and they should be stripped of all their titles

M Says:

I knew at some point ^^ this would turn into a “who cheats the most” scrap.

Everyone has some level of gamesmanship. These guys are very competitive, and millions of dollars are at stake, not to mention the prestige of those titles.

No chance of moving on, is there …?

(Mila, I’ve only seen Rafa argue with the ref twice – once at 2010 Wimbledon and once a really long time ago, like in 2005. Everybody’s got their something.)

skeezerweezer Says:


so right..this is an endless argument. It’s up to the ATP to enforce rules, if ya don’t like it everyone, write to them. Everybody’s got their something and will continue with gettin away with stuff cause the ATP officiating is weak, incompetent, and has no balls. They cater to the top players and they know who pays there check, the top players.

Gordon wrote some good factual stuff on the “bending rule” princibles( as an example ), taking too much time, etc, but obviously they don’t enforce things. Why? Are you the guy who is going to default or penalize Rafa/Fed for that? Waaaaaaaaaaayyyyy to much money at stake. It’s a cop out, but is a fact that is what it is.

Are you telling me in front of 5k paid ticketed fans and pre paid guarantee sponser money that an ump is gonna DQ or penalize a top ranked player for taking to much time on a serve? Even though it’s against the rules?HAHAHaahahaha…but……is it right? No. Should it be enforced? Yeah. Will it? No. Has it? No. Money controls all in the ATP, sadly, there is no real enforcement. So as fans we have to let it go and enjoy what is given to us….I guess. I say it is a sham, outright, and the umps and the officials are caterers to the players, not ever “Referering” a match. It’s a facade, fake, and is calculated to the players. Why? What if you were in the stands paying $200 and within a 1/2 hr someone broke a rule that caused a DQ, point penalty or game penalty through a tantrum, abuse or whatevers. The ump has the authority to DQ the match or make severe penalties. Ever seen it in this era? Not.

It was so funny how bad this has become. Anyone see Roddick in the recent Madrid tourney have to ask if he was properly warned for racket abuse? Which he had not been, so Roddick then smashed his Racket again to make sure and he earned it?

ATP officiating sucks.

Hey////jussssst sayin….


margot Says:

I totally get why someone might abuse their racquet. What harm does it do and who hasn’t at least felt like doing it at some point? Of course, if done at Wimbledon the perpetrator should be marched to the tower at once!
However, abusing/arguing with the umpire is a total waste of time and energy which would be better directed elsewhere. Of course some players use it to pump themselves up.
Mila, Rafa got into a right strop at the WTF, I was there.
Felt very sad at early death of Sevvy Ballersteros. A truly charismatic and inspirational man. 1997 Ryder Cup actually made me, for a brief period, interested in golf! Pax to blogger “Golf is not a sport” wherever u r…..

madmax Says:

Mila Says:
One thing – I’ve NEVER seen Novak or Rafael argue with the ref like this. Perhaps I’ve missed those occasions but am pretty sure it hasn’t happened. Today Novak had a truly ironic call at the net (racquet touch) that could have cost him the match, but he just smiled at the Argentinean ref and carried on.

…then Mila, you couldn’t have been watching much tennis over the last couple of years. Rafa had an absolutely hissy fit – very uncharacteristic – recently, it was shown on youtube all over the place.

Novak, the same plus smashing endless racquets. Problem is, when Fed 1) smashes a racquet – (madrid) or argues with an ump (twice in last 2 years), it makes planet mars.

Get real.

Both novak and rafa waste time serving. They go way over the time allowed and the umps do nothing. People dont say anything about this in case it upsets either the players or their fans and it’s ridiculous. Roger takes no more than 4 seconds to serve. He doesn’t waste time.

It’s you who is perpetuating bad feeling here, Federer had every right to moan. He stopped playing showing he believed the ball to be out – you think he would stop play for any other reason?

And he shook hands with the ump. You should rewind your vcr because you are missing out on critical points. But then haters like you never learn.

Margot, I was there too!

madmax Says:

and you know mila, that smashing racquet for roger was a pivotal moment for him and for his fans – it becomes a blaze moment when you do it often (novak, roddick, gonzo, et al), and they do – no one can argue that – even murray has had a go –

I think it’s a good thing in a way to release a bit of tension (at the risk of a code violation and a fine).

madmax Says:


this is the edited version:

(and the ball was in but rafa didn’t see it), similar to roger yesterday.

There’s plenty more out there, so you can have a fun afternoon.

madmax Says:

Hi Mila,

well, you have a treat here.

Go novak! slide 2 :)

Oh Mila, there’s TWO of rafa here, BOTH last year. One at Wimbledon where he was fined for cheating/coaching and spending too much time between points – I’ll find you transcript of what he said if I have time later.

The second one (can you believe it! in the same year?), was the non-edited version of rafa’s rant, where he called the supervisor onto court and then said he wasn’t going to play.

Enjoy mila.

WTF Says:

Why is there dual commentary? One in spanish and one in english. Did you splice two streams together?

madmax Says:


here’s the transcript. Now you can stop your holier than thou recount of roger and look more towards your own favourite’s shortcomings.

They are all human, it’s why we love them so much.

Nadal rips the officials
It’s not that Rafael Nadal has never been willing to butt heads with others. It’s just that you have to push him pretty hard before it happens.

“We’re finished with him,” he once said of former Spanish federation president Pedro Munoz, after witnessing some appalling behaviour that would take too long to relate here.

“I don’t have nothing to speak with this man,” he said after getting exasperated with former ATP head Etienne de Villiers’ plans for shaking up the tour.

At Wimbledon, though, there often seemed to be some nagging conflict. First, he couldn’t meet the Queen because it was scheduled for the same time he had to get ready for his practice.

Then, he got warned for receiving coaching from his uncle, Toni Nadal, during his five-setter against Phillip Petzschner in the third round.

Rafa responded angrily, telling the umpire, “We gonna talk with the supervisor later.”

It didn’t stop him from being fined for the incident. “Sometimes in the past, Toni talk maybe too much,” Nadal maintained. “But not today, in my opinion.”

In the quarterfinals against Robin Soderling, he got ticked off once more. Early in the second set, the umpire decided to award a crucial point to Soderling instead of replaying it when Soderling successfully challenged the call. Nadal did appear to have had a play on the ball, but his parting shot at the umpire still seemed a little paranoid: “So you want to see another No. 1?”

During that match, Soderling called for the trainer when Nadal was about to serve for the third set. The Spaniard wouldn’t criticize his opponent afterwards, having received mid-match treatments himself earlier in the tournament. But he did believe that the trainer took too long to arrive. “For me, the wrong thing is we wait for the physio five minutes,” he said.
Nadal has long shown a more opinionated side of himself when speaking in Spanish, and now looks to have become quite confident expressing himself in English as well.

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