Roberto Bautista Agut has alleged there was a trace of “favouritism” from the umpire during his Shanghai Masters defeat at the hands of Roger Federer on Thursday.
The Spaniard, who went down fighting in three sets to the world number two from Switzerland, was pointing to a crucial call that went against him in the third set as the cause of travail.
Federer, who had struggled to get past Daniil Medvedev in the previous match, also pushed to three sets in that encounter, won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to advance to the Shanghai quarter-finals where he will take on Kei Nishikori.
However, that wasn’t before Bautista Agut complained against a crucial umpiring decision that went against him in the final set. It was the ninth game of the third set, a superb shot should have been called in but the line judge erred and the point needed to be replayed.
Had he won that point, Bautista Agut might have held serve but the distracted Spaniard lost the next point and the game to get broken by the maestro. Federer served out for the match after that to clinch his quarter-final berth.
An indignant Bautista Agut said after the match, “It is not the first time that favouritism has occurred,”
He added: “I do not think I lost by that ball, but in my opinion I do not think the referee was right there.”
The Spaniard also said he was disgusted with how the match turned out because he reckoned he had a good chance to go all the way, or at least get into a situation like that against a player he had never won against. This was the eighth time in a row that Federer had beaten Bautista Agut.
Describing the situation, the Spaniard said the controversial point reversal came at a very tense moment, having taken a 30-0 lead in the ninth game.
He signed off saying: “That the match was at a very critical point, a decisive moment like that, in a deuce, a point more or a point less is decisive.”
The Federer-Nishikori match will be played later in the evening in Shanghai today.