Australian Open: Baby drama and Gulbis, Fognini entertain


Two of the sport's entertainers, Ernests Gulbis and Fabio Fognini, headline our diary from the Australian Open on Tuesday.

We look at the talking points from Melbourne.



There was plenty of emotion during Gulbis' epic five-set loss to Jeremy Chardy on court 19.

The Frenchman, however, was unhappy with having to wait to serve in the third game of the third set. After the delay, Chardy asked Gulbis, "You ready?" The Latvian, gesturing to movement courtside, responded, "I'm ready."

Chardy's mood was done no favours when he proceeded to serve a double fault. Making matters worse, the chair umpire demanded he wait to serve at 0-15 as a ball kid tidied up. Chardy served another double fault on his way to being broken. Ouch.



Gulbis, quite the character, had other concerns soon after. Laughing, he tried to discuss his problem with the chair umpire, who struggled to hear the 27-year-old.

Gulbis pointed to a baby in a pram courtside. "It's no problem for me," he said in the direction of the woman. "But the baby..."

She gestured apologetically before leaving the court.



Another great entertainer, Fognini, provided plenty of laughs in his long four-set loss to Gilles Muller.

Firstly, the Italian challenged a Muller serve when down game point in the ninth game of the third set. As he waited, he sat down. Proven right by the technology, he got up and fired a clean crosscourt backhand winner.

Muller followed up with an ace before an audible obscenity cost Fognini a point. "What did I do? Tell me what I did. Tell me. Tell me now," he urged the chair umpire. His exchange with the referee was even more animated. "No, no, nooo," he screamed from his chair.

Unsurprisingly, the call stood.



In the third-set tie-break, Fognini called for one of the worst - or best? - challenges ever.

He crushed a forehand well long and called for a challenge, much to Muller's confusion. So far long was the shot, no lines were in the picture from the aerial view of the challenge.

The Luxembourgian would earn some Fognini praise soon after. He played a tremendous half-volley to win a point. Fognini dropped his racquet and joined the crowd in applause.

Well played.