“OUT!” No, wait – not really.
Roger Federer was well on his way to a two-set dismantling of American Ryan Harrison when he heard the line judge call one of Harrison’s shots out. Federer checked his backhand and watched the ball go by – inside the line.
Turns out the call came not from the line judge but from a fan. It was an important point, allowing Harrison a service break. Federer shook his head and sat down heavily in his chair. The rules of tennis dictate no replay, no review in a case like this, when a player stops playing for whatever reason. (The rules don’t say how many lashes the fan gets with the cat ‘o nine tails out back behind the stadium – but we’re sure it’s at least 39.)
Here’s Roger, post-match, on the incident: “”It completely threw me off. I didn’t know what to think of it, because I was like, ‘That’s it? That’s the break point? That’s how it’s going to happen? OK.’ … It’s my mistake at the end of the day.”
Harrison felt bad about it and apologized to Federer afterward. And although the American went on to push the World #3 much more in Game 2 (7-6) than in Game 1 (6-2), he ultimately wasn’t up to the challenge of beating the hottest player on the planet since last year’s US Open.
Next up for Roger is World #34 Andy Roddick. Andy can’t be feeling too good about the matchup: Federer now has 77 straight wins against anyone ranked outside the top 20.