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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Tournament Report - French Open

Drama in the courts!

The shocking defeat of world number 1 Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong was full of drama yesterday, involving several blatant line calls, yellow cards, and the crowd's allegiance changing from the Malaysians to the Japanese.

It all started when linesmen called several shots from the Malaysians out, when they were very obviously in. This encouraged the French crowd to cheer on the Malaysians, and to support them.

However, everything changed when Tan made a drop shot that did not pass the net. The umpire failed to see this, and awarded to point to the Malaysians. The Japanese started complaining to the umpire, which only saw them receiving a yellow card. The furious French crowd turned against the Malaysians and cheered their hearts out for the Japanese, which in the end gave them the advantage to take this game from the Malaysians in three sets. In the end, the Japanese were given a standing ovation and the umpire was booed loudly when exiting the stadium.

While many might be accusing Koo and Tan for being unsportsmenlike for not notifying the umpire, I believe they should not have been blamed for that. Players are actually encouraged to keep quiet when such bad calls in their favor are made. This is all part of the mind games and psychological process of the game. While in this case, they might have turned the crowd against them, under normal circumstances, no player would have turned against the umpire. Hence, I encourage everybody not to blame Koo and Tan for not revealing the bad call, and just look forward to their next game.

Look on the bright side - at least we can have someone to cheer for (Choong/Lee) instead of sitting on the fence once again!

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