August 9, 2022

Men’s doubles duo Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury were furious after they believed a criticism of Hawkeye was inaccurate at Wimbledon. Pictures: BBC

Wimbledon has been rocked by a surprising controversy in which the The top-seeded men’s doubles duo refused to return to the court after a controversial review from Hawkeye.

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury were furious after a half-hearted challenge from opponents Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin was ruled by the technology they were in.

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This meant that instead of breaking serve and lining up the second set at 5-5 and having the chance to serve for the lead, Ram and Salisbury found themselves behind the eight ball.

Mahut and Roger-Vasselin’s challenge was not imposed with much conviction, and only seemed to be done given the fact that the decor was so delicately set at the time.

Ram and Salisbury were in disbelief after Hawkeye showed that the ball, which they said had clearly drifted long ago, had just cut the baseline.

After a furious exchange with the chair umpire, both players sat down and refused to continue playing.

“No way, man! This is absolutely ridiculous. There’s no way, not at all! We’re turning off the machine. We’re not in the future here, man,” Ram protested.

Salisbury was equally dirty, saying “There’s no way it’s there. You know it’s wrong! Can you have the supervisor?”

Neither wanted to continue the match with Hawkeye in place, but the chair umpire and tournament supervisor eventually explained to the pair that it was an obligation for them to continue.

A five-minute delay ensued as officials spoke with the players, before play resumed and the point was awarded to the French duo.

Wimbledon double briefly delayed by Hawkeye controversy

Although Ram and Salisbury ultimately prevailed in a thrilling five-set 6-3 6-7(1) 6-1 3-6 6-4 epic, both remained certain Hawkeye had made a mistake.

“We were 100% convinced the hawkeye was wrong. Obviously we wouldn’t have done what we did and asked the supervisors if we hadn’t been completely convinced the ball was out, far from it,” Salisbury said.

“We saw it that way, the ref saw it that way, the linesman called it out and the ref didn’t call it off and he agreed with us.

“We couldn’t believe they challenged it, we went and sat down convinced we won the game.

“I guess there’s a chance we all saw wrong, the linesman, the referee, us. For us, it wasn’t even close. They checked the hawkeye and it looked like everything was fine for the rest of the game, there didn’t seem to be any that were completely wrong. Maybe we all need to get our eyes checked.

“We were quite pissed about it and quite frustrated. We would have broken and served for the second set and we were pretty frustrated. I don’t think it affected us too much, we managed to hold the serve afterwards and felt good in the tie-break.

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury play in the Wimbledon men's doubles quarter-final.

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury were rocked by the Hawkeye controversy but rallied to win through to the Wimbledon semi-finals. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“Some people it helps and it almost gives them a reason to lock themselves in more and more, a reason to fight, but for me it just makes me angry and then I don’t respond really well when I feel like it. that, so I managed to push it out of my mind.

Salisbury and Ram sealed victory to set up a meeting against Max Purcell and Matt Ebden – who beat them in the Australian Open semi-finals in January.

It will be Salisbury’s third Wimbledon semi-final – his second with Ram – and despite the controversy he was happy with the way he finished the contest.

He said: “I think this is our first victory in five sets. We obviously only play the five sets here and we played one a few years ago where we lost 13-12 in the fifth, but I think we were really, really happy with how we held on the whole game .

“They’re a really tough team and we haven’t done very well against Mahut in the past, and I think they really improved their game in the fourth. I’m just happy that we did and we did very well. well done at the end.

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