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Watch: Raonic smashes his racquet, blasts Canadian Open officials over net call | Tennis News

It was a homecoming match for Milos Raonic on Monday as the Canadian star was making his first ever appearance at the National Bank Open since 2019 and only playing his third tournament since returning from a long injury layoff in June. And while he did manage to stun Frances Tiafoe in his Canadian Masters opener where he fired 37 aces to take down the ninth seed after bouncing back from a loss in a 26-point tie-break, it wasn’t a pleasant outing for the 32-year-old who was left furious at the end of first set following a controversial call.

The change of decision led to a long discussion at the net before Raonic called out the supervisor
The change of decision led to a long discussion at the net before Raonic called out the supervisor

It could have been the world No. 545’s final home tournament before biding adieu to the sport, but he managed to bounce back in style to shock last year’s US Open semifinalist, winning 6-7(12) 7-6(4) 6-3.

However, more than the stupendous win and the comeback in the match, the talking point centered around that controversial net call right at the end of the first set tie-break. The American was leading 13-12 in the tie-break when he managed to stay in the rally before being brought forward by a drop shot from Raonic. Tiafoe impressively chipped it over the net but, in doing so, he collided with the net post, implying most to believe that Raonic had gained the point to level the score again.

ATP rules states that if the player touches the net before the ball bounces twice then they concede the point. And hence chair umpire Fergus Murphy signalled that Tiafoe had lost the point, but then quickly reversed it, explaining that the part of the net that Tiafoe had collided was not counted as part of the rule in singles tennis.

“Frances, wait, this is complicated,” explained Murphy to the players. “This section of the net doesn’t count as a touch. Only after the singles post [does a touch count].”

The change of decision led to a long discussion at the net before Raonic called out the supervisor who explained the same, leaving the veteran player furious. And as he walked back to his bench, he smashed his racquet while Tiafoe smiled on and boos rang down from the stands.

Murphy explained: “Mr Tiafoe ran into the section of the net that does not count, it’s a permanent fixture, therefore he did not touch the net and he hit a winning shot.”

Speaking at the end of the match in the on-court interview, Raonic lashed out at how the matter was handled and accused the Canadian Open officials of lying.

“I don’t have faith that they were being completely honest, but it is what it is. I think they just handled it badly. Whatever the rule (was), I just don’t think it was handled (well). I’m not necessarily the best player involving the crowd. I just keep my head down and I do my thing, and I think that got everybody riled up, everybody excited, everybody more into the match. And I think that just gave me some momentum and some force going forward.”

Raonic will next play Taro Daniel in the next round.

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