Darian King Defaulted After Linesman Injured @CVilleTennis
Steve Fogleman, Tennis East Coast
Edward Corrie won a first-round match today at the Charlottesville Men’s Pro Tennis Challenger at the Boar’s Head Resort, but in most peculiar fashion. After taking the first set, 6-3, from Darian King of Barbados, Corrie shook off a break and took King to a second set tiebreak. King, who had been animated and argumentative throughout, lost a point at 2-5 in the breaker. Disgusted, he very aggressively tossed his racket behind him toward the curtain. What happened next is a bit of a mystery. It needn’t have been, but it was.
The sound caused by the racket hitting the curtain was very loud and echoed throughout the cavernous indoor facility. As all eyes turned to the sight of the boom, the linesman behind King fell over and let out a cry. I raced over to Court 7, where King grabbed his racket and quickly left the scene of the accident. He went to the net and told a curious Corrie, “She’s fine”. He stayed at the net for several minutes, apparently ready to keep playing. The linesman remained down for at least five minutes. The longer she remained on the ground, King told anyone who would listen that “I didn’t hit her”. Finally, Challenger Supervisor Keith Crossland came over and told King that he would likely be defaulted for his negligence. King appealed and asked to go to the match video. Crossland initially allowed this request, and I thought for a minute that he might go “under the hood” like an NFL referee. King was upset that the camera operator could not pull up a replay, and Crossland said, “Maybe we’ll watch it later”. As King stormed off to the locker room, he continued his Not Guilty plea.
“I did not hit her!”, he proclaimed, as he disappeared into the toilet-and-shower sanctuary.
One twitter user who was watching the feed said that King’s racket hit her in the neck. After speaking with several onlookers, the consensus was that the racket hit the linesman on the ricochet off of the curtain. Tournament officials indicated that they believed the linesman would be alright. Still, what a loveless job.
I mentioned that it needn’t have been a mystery. Last year, I was aggressively forbidden to shoot a point at this same Challenger by Keith Crossland, due to “video rights”. Yeah, right. Like anyone watches this stuff except us tennis junkies. So I comply. I can’t find a link anywhere online to show you what happened. If I had been allowed to shoot video, you know I would have had it on youtube within the hour. And the mystery would’ve been solved before dinner. Way to go, Crossland!
UPDATE: Our own Chris De Waard just sent me a youtube link from someone who stole the feed. Maybe Crossland should go after him for being such a terrible scofflaw. Thanks to that scofflaw, you can now judge for yourself.