Player disqualified at smaller event for smashing racket on ump’s chair loses at French Open

PARIS (AP) — Four days after getting disqualified from a smaller tournament for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair during a match, Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was back in competition at the French Open on Sunday, bowing out in the first round.

Ymer’s exit this time was far more conventional and far less dramatic: Quite simply, he was outplayed over three sets by No. 17 seed Lorenzo Musetti of Italy and lost 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 on Court 7 at Roland Garros.

Was it tough for the 56th-ranked Ymer to set aside what happened at the Lyon Open on Wednesday, when he was defaulted from the contest against French teenager Arthur Fils for an outburst late in the first set?

“It’s a Grand Slam, so I have to stay present. Stay in the moment,” Ymer said in a brief interview with The Associated Press. “I cannot do anything about the past.”

Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was angered while playing Fils that the chair umpire would not check a line call. Ymer thought a shot from Fils landed wide and pleaded for the official to climb down out of his chair for a closer look.

“You saw it clearly bounce on the line? Then show me the mark on the line,” Ymer told the umpire. “I’ve never witnessed that a ref says, ‘I’m not going to go down and check the mark.’ It doesn’t happen.”

Fils then proceeded to break Ymer and take a 6-5 lead by hitting a cross-court backhand. As the players went to the sideline for a changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice — destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That earned him a default, making Fils the winner of the match.

Ymer was asked Sunday whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”

On the last point of the opening set Sunday, Musetti delivered a serve right near the sideline that was ruled an ace. Ymer went up to check the mark; the chair umpire walked over for a closer look and indicated the ball was in; Ymer immediately turned and headed to the changeover between sets.

The final point of the match was another ace, one that kicked up some dust as it landed, and Ymer made no comment at all, walking to the net to clasp hands with Musetti.

“I think I played great, but he just outmaneuvered me. He’s a better clay-court player than I am,” Ymer said. “Today, he was better than me. A very well-deserved victory.”

Musetti, who let a two-set lead against Novak Djokovic slip away in Paris in 2021, was pleased with this performance, especially because he had stomach problems Saturday and didn’t practice.


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