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Stakhovsky admits taking the wrong shot

Sergiy Stakhovsky awaits French Open fine after taking photo of a shot he believed was out against Richard Gasquet.

Last Modified: 29 May 2013 17:05
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Ukrainian Stakhovsky takes picture of a line call during first round match with Richard Gasquet [Reuters]

Sergiy Stakhovsky admitted he was wrong to photograph a shot during his French Open loss to Richard Gasquet - but he was irritated after the British tabloids cast him as 'Mr Angry'.

Fed up at being variously described as "furious" and "angry" after Monday's loss to home hope Gasquet, Stakhovsky explained he whipped out his mobile phone purely to entertain the crowd - even if he accepted he himself crossed the line, in contrast to the ball, in so doing.

After his straight sets loss to seventh seed Gasquet, Stakhovsky complained: "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, and unfortunately, not all of our referees are able to do so."

It was more a joke than anything and I hope people won't judge me that badly. It was near the beginning of the match

Sergiy Stakhovsky, Ukrainian tennis player


Wednesday, the 101st-ranked Ukrainian said he would pay a fine which tournament organisers are now set to levy at the end of the fortnight and recognised he had overstepped the mark, while denying he was angry at chair umpire Carlos Ramos.

"I was not angry - I wasn't even frustrated. The manner of the way I did it wasn't insulting," said the 27-year-old from Kiev, who woke up to headlines in the French papers such as Voix Du Nord daily's "Stakhovsky invents officiating by photo at Roland Garros."

Britain's Daily Mail described him as 'furious' while one visitor to the paper's comments section observed "you cannot be serious" - an echo harking back to the combustuous early days of John McEnroe's career.

But Stakhovsky insisted he had only intended the affair to be light-hearted and not a sign of disrespect to Ramos or other officials.

"Something just itched in my butt - it was a spontaneous thing to do," he said.

"But it was wrong. The rule book says you can't do it. Some media have made a big thing of it. But that's pathetic - I was quite calm, I had a nice chat with the umpire. It was more a joke than anything and I hope people won't judge me that badly. It was near the beginning of the match."

As regards his likely fine, whose size tournament officials have yet to indicate, he said: "I'll most likely know when I collect my prize money" - $27,000 for a first-round exit.

"I hope my clean Grand Slam record will count - I've never been fined. I made a mistake. The question now is the size of it (the fine)."

Gasquet said after their encounter: "I think he was pretty sure the ball was on the line. I'm not sure about it. I agree it was very close.

"I think he's one of the funniest guys in the draw. For sure it's not usual to see that (taking a picture of the mark), but I can understand he's frustrated, because the ball is close."

536

Source:
AFP
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