WATCH: Sharma robbed of Bogota game, ends up losing to Gatto-MonticoneBy Apr 07, 2021
Can champion Iga Swiatek bring consistency, too?By May 26, 2021
Debating best-of-three sets vs. best-of-fiveBy May 21, 2021
The Tennis Conversation: Tim HenmanBy May 21, 2021
Polish phenom Iga Swiatek rules in RomeBy May 16, 2021
Flawless Final: Iga Swiatek double bagels Karolina Pliskova in RomeMay 16, 2021
Pliskova powers past Martic to reach third consecutive Rome finalBy May 15, 2021
Iga Swiatek wins twice to reach Rome final, now a win away from Top 10By May 15, 2021
Elina Svitolina holds off Garbiñe Muguruza to complete Rome QF line-upBy May 13, 2021
Gauff relishes flawless performance with Barty matchup loomingBy May 13, 2021
WATCH: Sharma robbed of Bogota game, ends up losing to Gatto-Monticone
Things took a sour turn for Astra Sharma at 1-1, 0-30 in the third set of her Bogota opener with Giulia Gatto-Monticone when chair umpire Luis David Armenta Castro's egregious error in score calling changed the outcome of the game—and possibly the match.
Published Apr 07, 2021
“She leads 2-1, somehow, in set number three.”
That was the call behind the mic Tuesday in Bogota during a first-round match between Giulia Gatto-Monticone and Astra Sharma at the Copa Colsanitas. It wasn’t a commentator’s reaction to a competitor surviving a tough stretch of games, but rather, a competitor obtaining a lead that wasn’t hers in the first place.
Here’s how the scoring should have gone, with Gatto-Monticone serving at 1-1 in the third set:
Double fault, 0-15.
Gatto-Monticone nets forehand, 0-30.
Gatto-Monticone forehand lands long, 0-40.
Sharma nets backhand, 15-40.
Gatto-Monticone forehand lands long, game. Sharma leads 2-1.
Seems simple, right? The first two points were called correctly. At 0-30, after the Italian’s forehand was called out by a linesperson, chair umpire Luis David Armenta Castro went to check the mark and confirmed it. But then, somehow, called the score 30-15 in favor of Gatto-Monticone.
Sharma didn’t react at the time, and after losing her first point of the game, Armenta Castro’s blunder was all but confirmed when he called 40-15. Two points later, Gatto-Monticone sat for the changeover with a 2-1 lead. Sharma stood at the net to discuss the scoring situation with both Armenta Castro and Gatto-Monticone, but was unable to make her case.
The Australian would go on to lose the final five games of the match, as Gatto-Monticone advanced, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. On Wednesday, Sharma explained her version of events in a Twitter thread.
“To people saying I should have known the score, here is what happened for me: At 40-15, I thought I had won the game, but when I asked the umpire he said no. I thought I miscounted since I do sometimes lose track of the score when I’m so focused, so I usually trust the ump,” she tweeted.
“I was disoriented and confused, trying to remember what points I had won, so I mistakenly thought he was saying it was 40-30 to me, which I thought was OK, I probably miscounted one point. After he called game to my opponent the next point, I knew something was wrong. I knew I hadn’t lost that many points. I tried to argue with him and he said that he couldn’t remember how the points went but neither could I, so there’s nothing he could do. I could only recall that she missed twice long.”
The 25-year-old has taken ownership in her inability to recollect how she actually won the game when challenging the way it played out. But what about Gatto-Monticone? Does a player suddenly forget beginning a game with a double fault just prior to making two unforced errors? Only she can answer that.
“Both he and my opponent then said I had supposedly missed two backhand returns and a forehand miss. I couldn’t defend myself because I want able to tell them how I won the rest of my points,” Sharma continued.
“I knew something was wrong so I asked for video replay, he said there was none. I asked to speak to the linesumpire who had called my opponents misses. He said they had rotated out and he couldn’t get them back. He pressured me saying I cannot delay play if I had no proof. I was starting to feel crazy and doubt myself because both of them seemed to recall things I could not. I didn’t know what to do, all I could tell a supervisor was that I thought I won the game but my proof was she missed long twice.”
Armenta Castro's egregious error is the No. 1 offender here, but this unfortunate type of gaffe occurs more often than it should. (who could forget 2004 Wimbledon, Karolina Sprem-Venus Williams?) What happened to Sharma served her a harsh lesson in the importance of self-awareness, and assertive advocacy. For the person across the net in the heat of the moment may not remember the score either, or, is unabashed in exploiting human error.