PARIS (Reuters) - Frenchman Laurent Lokoli caused a mild stir at the French Open on Tuesday when he refused to shake Martin Klizan’s hand at the end of their match.
Lokoli, who lost 7-6(4) 6-3 4-6 0-6 6-4 to Klizan, waved away the Slovak at the end of their first-round encounter and afterwards accused him of unsporting conduct.
”If I did not shake hands with him, it is because there is a reason,“ the 22-year-old said. ”He made out to be hurting his leg for two sets and then was running around like a rabbit in the fifth set.
A few games earlier, Klizan had celebrated loudly after Lokoli double-faulted to give him a 5-2 lead in the decider.
Celebrating a double fault is frowned upon in tennis -- though it is within the rules -- and Lokoli, who is 285th in the world rankings, said his 50th-ranked opponent lacked respect.
“He speaks of respect but he showed none of this,” he added.
“I have nothing against him as a man — I always respect players on the court. You have two things there. He is a top-50 player. I play Futures and Challengers. There was no respect.”
The crowd on Court 14 did not take kindly to Lokoli’s snub and made their derision clear.
Klizan will meet world number one Andy Murray in the next round.
Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Greg Stutchbury