Jaume Munar, the man of controversial endings: “Sportsmanship is lost”
CÓRDOBA, Argentina – A sequence worthy of Tennis TV’s attention: Jaume Munar loses the match against Facundo Bagnis with a cross-court backhand that is called long. The Spaniard does not share the judge’s decision and after shaking hands with the Argentinean at the net, he takes his cell phone and walks to the other side of the court to take a picture of the mark in the red clay. He then uploads it to his social networks. The bounce can be seen slightly out.
Days before the episode, Munar sat down to talk to CLAY and was honest answering the question: Do players lose the sportsmanship codes of tennis when you guys play in pros?
“They are totally lost. Without a doubt, yes. We are competing, we are playing for money, that’s the reality. Then if we enter into the ethical debate of whether it is right or not, it would be a much longer talk,” he told CLAY with total sincerity.
Munar was recalling the incident from almost a year ago at Indian Wells when he faced a questionable decision from the referee right at the match point of the first-round game against Wu Yibing. In the tiebreak of the third set, Yibing managed to return the ball with a winning volley shot. He was so stretched that he fell to the ground. Instantly, he released the racket, and it got entangled in the net, clearly before the ball bounced twice. “That was unbelievable,” remarked the 26-year-old Munar.
The umpire declared the end of the match, arguing that the point had concluded before the racket made contact with the net, something physically impossible given the player’s distance from the net. The Chinese player acted oblivious to the evidence, refused to be the judge of his own actions, and celebrated his victory in the match. Munar couldn’t believe it.
Munar defends Yibing’s attitude at that time, and the behavior of tennis players in general in such situations: “Honestly, and completely open to talk about this: I would have done the same. That’s the reality. It’s not right, but in defense of Yibing, in that situation, I would have acted the same way.”
“Furthermore, what I find incredible is that with the tecnology we have today, there isn’t a video review in tennis. And if that’s not feasible, in situations so complex and evident, if someone from the outside has seen it, a supervisor, a linesman should be able to intervene and correct it. In tennis, it’s stated that once the umpire makes a decision, that decision is final, and they can’t go back. I believe umpires should be able to correct their decision. Sometimes they make a call in the heat of the moment, and later they can realize that the context is different,” he argues.