MIAMI: France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga accused a chair umpire of
favouring Rafael Nadal, after the Spanish world No.2 won a marathon
three-setter battle 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the Miami Masters
Tsonga claimed that match
official Damian Steiner was reluctant to overrule calls affecting Nadal,
causing him to pay close attention to rulings as well as his own
The Frenchman made his feelings known at 4-4 in the final set on Wednesday.
'I was complaining because all
the match I have to challenge, and I was right, many, many times,' said
Tsonga, who had fought back from 4-5 down in the second set, when Nadal
was serving and just two points away from victory.
'He never takes the initiative when it's
against Rafa. So I have to be really focused on the ball. If it's really
close, he would never say 'out' against Rafa. If Rafa don't like him
any more, he would not be in the chair many times in the final and
Nadal said after his win that he understood
why his opponent was getting upset, but stressed that he also suffered
from bad calls.
'I understand the frustration because it's
true that the referees with the Hawk-Eye are doing less overrules than
before. I said this hundreds of times,' said the Spaniard, who was due
to continue his bid for a record 20th Masters 1000 title against
Scotland's world No.4 Andy Murray in the semi-finals early today
'But it is not because he's playing against me. No. Happen to me a lot of times.'
In another quarter-final match on Thursday,
defending champion Novak Djokovic held off a determined David Ferrer of
Spain to win 6-2, 7-6 (7-1).
The Serbian world No.1 will today face
Argentinian Juan Monaco, who celebrated his 28th birthday by surprising
eighth-seeded American Mardy Fish 6-1, 6-3.