Sunday brought with it the perfect ending to the US Open 2019. Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev played out one of the most thrilling US Open finals in recent memory in which the Spaniard looked poised to win the match in straight sets, having taken the first two sets; however, Medvedev was anything but done in the match. He showed his determination and grit to win the next two sets to level the final.
Nadal eventually won the final set 6-4 to lift his 19th Grand Slam title. One of the things to note during the trophy presentation was the boos that chair umpire Ali Nili was subjected to by the New York crowd.
Time violations are nothing new to Nadal. On Sunday though, the chair umpire gave him the customary time violation warning in the very first game of the final. While it is rare to see umpires enforce the shot clock rules so early on in the game, Nili was well within his authority in doing so. He was possibly setting a precedent for the rest of the final. After the first warning, players lose their first serve for any consequent time violations they make.
Nadal would go on to get two other time violations, losing his first serve. The second time he lost his first serve to the violations was in the fifth set, when he was serving for the match at 5-2. He ended up double-faulting and giving Medvedev a break but went on to handle the pressure well and win the final to lift his 19th slam.
During the trophy presentation, Nili was called up to collect his award for umpiring the final but the crowd did not hold back and pointedly booed the umpire.
However Nadal showed his classy side once again to cut the boos short by applauding the umpire himself, which got the crowd to stop the act.
The crowd booing the umpire is hardly something new; in fact, it was reminiscent of last years women’s singles final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, when the umpire, Carlos Ramos was ruthlessly booed by the crowd for giving Williams multiple violations.
Williams refused to hold back and argued with Ramos, even calling him a thief and a sexist on court, forcing him to give her game penalty.
This really turned the crowd hostile against him and they were not holding back in letting their feelings know at all. In the end the atmosphere was so toxic, it was decided that the award for the umpiring would not be presented in public, and Ramos left the court soon after the match had ended.