The opening day of the main draw at Indian Wells 2023 witnessed a controversial decision from the chair umpire, securing Yibing Wu’s win over his Spanish counterpart Jaume Munar in their first-round match.
The duo started off really well, with neither of the players playing it loose, thus taking the first set into a tie-break. Munar held on to his nerve as he won the first set. However, the Chinese athlete quickly took his revenge as Wu registered a bagel against Munar in the second set.
Controversy erupted during the deciding set when a diving Yibing Wu returned a shot to claim the match point. However, Jaume Munar observed that Wu’s racquet made contact with the net before the ball left the court while diving.
Despite a brief argument, the umpire awarded the match point to Wu. Following the controversial decision that resulted in Munar’s elimination from the Indian Wells Masters, tennis fans on social media criticized the umpire, and some even called for a video review to avoid these instances in the future.
One Twitter user pointed out why the decision was wrong. He wrote:
“Another flashy win for Wu but don’t think this should have been his match point: racket seems to touch the bottom of the net before the second bounce (as Munar indicates).”
Ellen Perez, a professional tennis player from Australia, also supported the Spaniard’s claim about not awarding the match point to Yibing Wu.
“Munar had a very valid point,” he wrote. “Rules are rules and his racquet touched the net before the ball bounced twice. Wu should lose the point. If there was a rule at your workplace and it wasn’t upheld resulting in costing you money and possible promotion would you not complain?”
Munar’s compatriot Pedro Martinez also slammed the umpire for her mistake, which ultimately cost the Spaniard a place in the second round of the event.
“What a mistake from the umpire!!! The racket touched the net before the ball has bounced twice,” Martinez wrote.
Fans also vouched for the use of technology to help umpires with important decisions like this.
“Implement f*cking video review omg how hard it can be!” a fan wrote.
Below are a few more fan reactions:
Yibing Wu to face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in 2nd round of the Indian Wells 2023
Following his controversial win in the first round of the Indian Wells Masters, Yibing Wu will take on Davidovich Fokina in the second round of the event.
At the post-match press conference of his first-round match, Yibing Wu reflected on the much-talked-about match point.
“He saw before the ball touched the court, my racquet already touched the net. But, the fact is the ball already touched the ground and after that the racquet touched the net,” said Wu. “I mean, it’s tricky because it’s a match point. Nobody wants to be facing these situations, ofcourse!”
Despite a poor start to his 2023 season, Yibing Wu has been in sublime form in recent days. The Chinese beat the likes of Denis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz, and John Isner to win the Dallas Open.