Umpire Aurelie Tourte showed quick reactions to avoid a potentially “nasty” incident after Lorenzo Musetti mishit a ball towards her at the French Open.
With Stefanos Tsitsipas serving in the first set on Court Philippe Chatrier, Musetti fired a forehand return towards the umpire’s chair.
Tourte managed to stick her hand up to block the ball as it travelled towards her position.
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“Could have been nasty,” said Chris Bradman on Eurosport commentary.
Umpire Arnaud Gabas suffered a fractured eye socket when he was struck by a ball that Denis Shapovalov smashed in anger during a Davis Cup match against Great Britain in 2017.
Musetti received from 4-1 down in the first set to move two sets up against fourth seed Tsitsipas.
Musetti was in a similar position against Novak Djokovic last year at the French Open but couldn’t close out the win and retired in the fifth set as he couldn’t “win a point”.
“It’s not an injury,” he said afterwards.
“It’s, well, just a little bit of cramps and a little bit of low back pain. I was not anymore able to win a point, and so was not really…grateful also for the crowd that was there, so I decided to retire.
“There was no chance that I could win a point, so I decided to retire because I think it was the best thing to do it.”
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