Belarussian tennis player Ilya Ivashka had a meltdown at being given a game penalty for taking an ‘emergency toilet break’ during his first round match against Adrian Mannarino at the St Petersburg Open.
Having won the first set 6-3, Ivashka was at 2-3 in the second when he called for medical attention. With the permission of the doctor and the chair umpire Richard Haigh, the Belarusian was allowed to take an emergency toilet break.
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“But you need to be as fast as possible. You’re on your own time,” the chair umpire told Ivashka.
Since Haigh had not called a medical timeout, when the 26-year-old Ivashka returned to the court after a while he was handed a game penalty.
“Medical timeout can’t be used to go to a bathroom,” the chair umpire told him.
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“Because of the amount of time you took going to the bathroom, you were late coming back to the court by three times. So it’s a delay of game warning, delay of game point penalty and then game penalty.”
“This was an emergency because I couldn’t stand on court. If you wanted me to s–t right on the court, I could do it,” argued Ivashka. “What does that mean, ‘on your own time’?”
From 0-100 real quick 😳
A bizarre moment of controversy in St Petersburg… pic.twitter.com/GmvOCHtBMC
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 13, 2020
The player got increasingly upset during the exchange, before shouting at the umpire. “That is not possible! That is not possible!” he shouted.
Before the incident, Ivashka had taken a toilet break during the warm-up. The rules state that, “Any toilet break taken after the warm-up has started is considered one of the authorized breaks. Additional breaks will be authorized, but will be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule If the player is not ready within the allowed time.”
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“Game penalty for going to the toilet,” he continued. “I’m not going to play because this is something ridiculous. This is something ridiculous. You didn’t tell me.”
“How am I to understand ‘on your own time’ Nobody f–king told me!”
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However, Ivashka recovered from the meltdown, winning the match 6-3, 7-6 (6) to progress to the second round. In doubles, he and his partner James Duckworth gave a walkover to their opponents in the opening round.