Former world number one Karolina Pliskova has damaged the umpire’s chair after repeatedly smashing her racquet against it in the aftermath of her controversial defeat to Greece’s Maria Sakkari at the Italian Open.
The Czech was locked at a set all, 5-5, and 40-40 in her already-tense second round match against the world number 42 Sakkari in Rome.
Pliskova put away a simple smash which seemed to land on the line to give her a point to lead 6-5.
Hannah Wilks tweets Pliskova raises her hand to shake the umpire’s hand, thinks better of it, and instead smashes open the umpire’s chair with four blows of her racquet.
But to her astonishment, umpire Marta Mrozinska and the line judge called the ball out.
Pliskova duly lost the game to go 6-5 down and Sakkari served out to win 7-5 in the third set.
But the drama didn’t end there — after the players shook hands, Pliskova then took a number of big swings with her racquet against the umpire’s chair, taking a chunk out of its side.
Sakkari visibly winced as Pliskova vented her fury, taking several steps backwards before the Czech had stormed off, before shaking the umpire’s hand.
World number six Pliskova had a number of run-ins with Mrozinska during the stormy match and now faces a heavy fine from the WTA.
It was the first time Sakkari had beaten a top five player in her career.
After the match, Pliskova’s sister, world number 70 Kristyna said on Twitter: “I hope this lady Marta Mrozinska will never ever judge any match of me or Karolina again. #blacklistforever.”
Julian Siemion tweets #Pliskova v #Sakkari match point. Karolina destroying umpire chair #ibi18 #WTA