French Open 2023: Tempers Flare as Francisco Cerundolo Confronts the Chair Umpire About Holger Rune's Double-Bounce

Cerundolo blamed the official, but he also believed Rune might have given up the point due to the double bounce.

Following a tight match between Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina and Holger Rune of Denmark at the French Open, Cerundolo expressed devastation over his loss in the fourth-round match. He was particularly frustrated with chair umpire Kader Nouni for failing to detect a double-bounce of the ball on a crucial point that ultimately favoured Rune in his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory.

The incident occurred when the players were tied at one set each and the score was 2-1 in favour of the sixth-seeded Rune in the third set on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Cerundolo, serving at deuce, hit a forehand that skidded low near the baseline and made a second bounce quickly, indicating that the point should have been awarded to him.

Double-bounce apology

Despite Cerundolo's apology for his unusual forehand shot, which caused the ball to skim across the clay, Rune managed to return the ball over the net. At that moment, the chair umpire, Nouni, was unaware of the double-bounce and believed the ball was still in play. However, Cerundolo's verbal apology during the point led Nouni to call it a hindrance against him. As a result, Rune was awarded the point and went on to win the subsequent point, earning a service break.

Statement by Cerundolo

"It was unbelievable, because it was a clear double-bounce. I was mad at the umpire because he has to see it," Cerundolo said. "It’s his fault."

In tennis, electronic line-calling technology is commonly employed to determine whether a ball is in or out of bounds. However, replays are not used to review instances such as double-bounces or violations such as a player touching the net, which is against the rules.

Although Francisco Cerundolo primarily blamed the chair umpire for the missed double-bounce, he also believed that Holger Rune could have voluntarily conceded the point upon recognising the double-bounce.

"For sure, I wish he would have done that, because it was a big moment," Cerundolo said.

Statement by Rune

Rune, who moved into a matchup against No. 4 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, said he saw a replay after the following point, and "saw it was a double bounce. But the point already happened, and he called the score. So I felt sorry."

But Rune added, "This is tennis. This is sports. Some umpires, they make mistakes. Some for me; some for him. That’s life."