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Tennis news - Maria Sakkari slams ‘worst ever’ line judges after Fed Cup defeat to Johanna Konta

Sakkari slams ‘worst ever’ line judges after Fed Cup defeat to Konta
By Eurosport

08/02/2019 at 18:54Updated 08/02/2019 at 21:14

Maria Sakkari described the standard of line judges as the “worst” she has ever seen following her Fed Cup defeat to Briton Johanna Konta at the University of Bath.

Konta battled to a 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory over the world number 38 to ensure Greece cannot reach the next round of the tournament.

Valentini Grammatikopoulou was critical of the umpire in her defeat to Katie Boulter earlier on Thursday, but Sakkari went further with her comments about the “terrible” line judges.

“Yeah they are terrible. Since the first round,” she said.

" They’re the worst I’ve ever seen in my life. This is unacceptable."

“Because we have many players in the top 100, we are playing with poor balls, nine and 11 change, and with line umpires that have never worked in their life. That’s what I want to say.”

Johanna Konta of Great Britain celebrates winning her Europe/Africa Group A match against Maria Sakkari of Greece on Day Two of the Fed Cup 2019 at University of Bath on February 06, 2019 in Bath, England

Johanna Konta of Great Britain celebrates winning her Europe/Africa Group A match against Maria Sakkari of Greece on Day Two of the Fed Cup 2019 at University of Bath on February 06, 2019 in Bath, EnglandGetty Images

Asked if Hawk Eye should have been used, she added: “Of course we should. The chair umpires are great, but the line umpires are the worst I have ever seen in my life.

“There were mistakes for both sides, I am not saying that they always do mistakes only for us, but of course there are more mistakes for our side. But there were quite a lot of mistakes.

“I think it’s very tough for all the players to play with very bad line umpires on court. We are used to playing with very good professionals and we come here, it’s a very high level Fed Cup tie, we need to have good professionals on our court.”

Johanna Konta of Great Britain celebrates winning the second set during her Europe/Africa Group A match against Maria Sakkari of Greece on Day Two of the Fed Cup 2019 at University of Bath on February 06, 2019 in Bath, England

Johanna Konta of Great Britain celebrates winning the second set during her Europe/Africa Group A match against Maria Sakkari of Greece on Day Two of the Fed Cup 2019 at University of Bath on February 06, 2019 in Bath, EnglandGetty Images

LTA tournament director Rebecca James defended the officials, saying: “The officials selected for this event by the Association of British Tennis Officials have all worked at the highest levels of the game.

“The chair umpires are internationally certified and selected by the ITF. The lines people are all paid LTA licenced officials, who have all worked Wimbledon semi-finals and finals between them, including many on previous Davis Cup world group ties.”

Anne Keothavong, Team GB captain, added: “I have to be diplomatic as I can. The line calling today didn’t affect the outcome of the matches.

“There were tight line calls, the bad line calls went both ways and how many times do you go through a tournament without a player questioning a line call.”

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