A malfunctioning hawkeye video made the usually cool and calm Roger Federer lose his composure at the quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych in Melbourne today.
The Swiss maestro broke into a mini-rant at the umpire when Berdych was serving to take the first set at 5-3. Federer had noticed that a serve went out of the line and expected the umpire, Fergy Murphy to make the call.
When he didn’t, Federer, who has the reputation of seeing better than the hawkeye, challenged the point.
The drama began when the hawkeye video could not resolve the issue.
Federer was told by the umpire Murphy that the serve was in. Federer then went straight to him to ask him to do his work.
“Are you comfortable with this?” he said, as the crowd booed. “You can’t steal my challenge. You’re okay with this?”
Though Berdych was serving for the set when the drama occurred, he was 15-40 down.
The momentary loss of Federer’s trademark cool did not eventually affect the outcome of the match.
Berdych had one set point but Federer blazed a backhand past him to snuff out the danger, before breaking with an equally sublime swish of his matt black racket to break.
Federer then went on to force the set into a tie break, which he ruthlessly won 7-1. Then he took the next two sets 6-3 6-4 to record his ninth successive defeat of the burly Czech. He also extended his 43rd grand slam semi-final record to 43.
He will now face 21-year-old South Korean sensation Chung Hyeon.
It is the 11th time Federer has reached the final four of a slam without dropping a set and, with Rafa Nadal out of action, he is clear favorite to win a 20th grand slam title and sixth Australian Open.
Later, with his 92nd Australian Open victory in the bag, Federer played down the incident.
“I hung around, got a bit lucky, a bit angry, a bit frustrated at the umpire,” Federer said in the now obligatory comedy duo on-court interview with Jim Courier.