MADRID, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal’s uncle and coach Toni has reacted to the world number one’s recent problems with time penalties by suggesting some chair umpires do not understand tennis because they have not played professionally.
Rafa Nadal, who will play Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday’s Australian Open final, was incensed after being called for multiple time violations by Greek umpire Evanthia Asderaki in Monday’s fourth-round victory against Kei Nishikori.
With the third set locked at 4-4 and deuce, Nadal’s breach of the 20-second time limit saw him forfeit his first serve and throw away the ball in disgust in a rare loss of composure.
Toni Nadal told Spanish radio on Saturday it would be better if umpires were drawn from a pool of former players who knew what it was like to be out on court in a pressure situation.
“We had a problem with a girl (Asderaki),” he said on Cadena Ser’s El Larguero show.
“Sometimes with the umpires the fact that they have not been players means they do not understand the game very well,” he added.
“It’s just the same as in football. I always say that (it would be better) if referees were former players, second-division players who could do a very good job and they would be keen because of the salary.
“I believe it would change everything, they have been in the thick of it and they know what it’s like.
“In the football world it’s easier to tell when someone dives to win a free kick or what is serious or not and (in tennis) it’s the same.”
Slowing down the pace of a match created a more enjoyable experience for courtside spectators, Toni Nadal said.
“For the spectacle it’s better if the game doesn’t go too quickly,” he told El Larguero.
“It’s better for people to experience a moment of tension in a calmer way so they can feel the atmosphere.”
He said he did not know who the chair umpire for Sunday’s showdown with Wawrinka was but he expected them to be “a bit better prepared”. (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Pritha Sarkar)