New York (AFP) - Tommy Robredo's latest five-set fight-back came with controversy on Thursday as a fan in the notoriously boisterous US Open crowd intervened at a crucial point.
The 16th-seeded Spaniard was favored to get past Simone Bolelli, but the Italian took the first two sets and was eyeing the upset before Robredo rallied for a 5-7, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 triumph.
The controversy erupted in the third set, as Robredo gained a break after Bolelli stopped playing a point when someone in the crowd called "out".
The umpire ruled that Bolelli must concede the point, although the Italian wanted to play a let.
"I think the umpire made a very big mistake, then the supervisor came on court, he didn't say nothing," Bolelli said.
"I played a good point after that, but I lost the set, then I started to get a little bit nervous."
Robredo called it "very bad luck for Bolelli".
Fidgety, noisy crowds are part of the flavor of the US Open, and they can often be entertaining even to the players.
Andy Murray, the 2012 champion who booked his third-round berth with a straight-sets win over qualifier Matthias Bachinger on Thursday, spoke of the "different atmosphere" of the massive Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
"You don't see guys like that dancing at Wimbledon," he said of one impromptu performer in the stands.
But when matches get tight and tension rises, input of the fans can be an irritant.
Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka had let slip a two-set lead and was battling to close out 91st-ranked Thomaz Bellucci in the fourth set after midnight on Monday when one spectator yelled out before he served.
"Just shut up," Wawrinka snapped, although with victory secured he made light of it later.
"It was OK," Wawrinka said. "I had to talk to a few of them. At the end, it's normal. Everybody was into the match. That’s OK. It can happen."
- Sports & Recreation
- Tommy Robredo
- Simone Bolelli