Rafael Nadal criticizes chair umpire Eva Asderaki for calling a time violation while he served at 4-all in the third set of his 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (3) fourth-round win over Kei Nishikori at the Australian Open.
Asderaki hit Nadal with his second time violation as he served at 4-all, deuce, resulting in him forfeiting his first serve. The top seed showed his anger throwing a ball in disgust. Grand Slam tournaments allow 20 seconds between points, but chair umpires are allowed some flexibility and often show discretion after long points or in hot conditions. The umpires seem to be calling more time violations in Melbourne this year than they did last year.
“The negative thing in my opinion is not the warning,” Nadal said. “The negative thing is the moment, 4‑all, deuce. You can choose another moment to do it, not that one. Another thing is she didn't advise me before the second warning that I was still going slow. So normal thing, if the referee is say, 'Rafa, you are going too slow.' So I try to go quicker, before the second warning. But she didn't make it. The rule says you can do it. But, in my opinion, that goes against the show.”
Nadal said he will try to play faster, but suggested chair umpires don’t always understand the situation on court.
“It’s important to have people on the chair that really understand the game and people who manage this sport who understand the game,” he said. “Because, if not, every time with Hawk‑Eye, the referee just start watching the watch, 25 seconds, then warning, so then we don't need any more referees. We only need lines [people]. That's fine. Because if not, the referees don't need to do all the rules. That is my feeling. We are making the referees worse than before with all the things that we are making for them easier.”