Japanese star Yoshihito Nishioka delivered one of the all-time dummy spits during the first set of his Adelaide International quarter final clash with Australia’s Alexei Popyrin.
With Popyrin 3-1 up and the scores locked at 15-all, a Nishioka forehand was called ‘out’ by one of the line umpires.
A frustrated Nishioka successfully challenged the call, with the ball shown to have caught a piece of the line, but chair umpire Christian Rask ruled the point to be replayed because he believed the ‘out’ call had hindered Popyrin’s return.
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Cue fireworks. “Clean winner mate. No way!” Nishioka declared, as commentator Adam Peacock informed Nine and Stan Sport viewers that he was “an emotional guy.”
That proved to be an understatement as Nishioka lost the next point and with it his cool, screaming “bull—-” as Rask slapped him with a court violation for an obscenity.
“There must be history between these two,” Peacock pondered.
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Nishioka then lost another point to go 15-40 down as he approached Rask and demanded to speak his supervisor.
“He’s self-imploding at the moment, there’s no doubt about that,” Roger Rasheed said.
“If you’re Alexei, you’re like the stranger in the supermarket watching the parent and a child who is out of control, trying to come back together as one,” Peacock added.
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Popyrin then won the next point to go 4-1 up as Rask tried to appease Nishioka by calling up his ATP supervisor, Stefan Franzen.
“I want to talk right now!” Nishioka wailed.
“He’s red lining at the moment,” Rasheed said.
Franzen eventually appeared as Nishioka continued to unleash.
Nishioka: “Why I have to get a court violation? You don’t change anything. That was a very important point and now I’m losing. There was a chance to break his service game but he took it.”
Franzen: “You have to accept his decision.”
Nishioka: “Chair umpires never say ‘I’m wrong.’ They always say ‘I’m right, that’s wrong.’ That’s crazy. It always happens, this conversation.”
Peacock: “Just let it go!”
Rasheed: “This is pretty poor. For someone who is (ranked) 36 in the world and 27 (years old), a little bit disappointing that he’s taking this long to get through his rant.”
Nishioka managed to recover his composure and take the first set 7-6 (7-4) before Popyrin won the second, also in a tie break 7-6 (10-8).
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