PARIS, June 3 (AP): Andy Murray was playing so well, he could even afford to give a point away.
The Wimbledon champion put himself in the middle of an argument between Fernando Verdasco and chair umpire Pascal Maria in the third set of his fourth-round match at the French Open yesterday. But in an effort to de-escalate the budding fracas, he conceded a point to the Spaniard.
It didn�t really matter, because the seventh-seeded Murray still won in straight sets, beating Verdasco 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (3) to reach the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the fourth time.
�Yeah, I gave him the point,� said Murray, who missed the French Open last year because of a back injury.
The incident started at the end of the seventh game in the third set. Verdasco was broken quickly in the first game, but then saved 11 break points in his next three service games and held to get within 4-3 with a service winner that smacked off the rim of Murray�s racket.
As Verdasco walked to his changeover bench, Maria ordered the serve to be retaken because a linesman had called the ball out before Murray made contact. Verdasco, then sitting in his chair, started ranting at Maria, shouting, �Are you kidding me?�
He then called for the supervisor four times, telling Maria he no longer wanted to speak to him. That�s when Murray stepped in and gave the game to his opponent.
�I was just fighting for the ball because I just thought that once I served to the line and Andy returned with the frame to the crowd, Pascal was saying that the lineman was calling out,� Verdasco said.
�I said ...he didn�t miss the serve because the lineman call out. He missed the serve because, the return, because my serve was to the line and he couldn�t hit it with the strings. So it was completely out of sense to serve a first serve again. I said to call the supervisor, and Andy said that it was fine, and it was a point for me.�