Venus Williams caused a stir at Wimbledon when she refused to shake hands with the chair umpire following her first-round loss. The disagreement stemmed from a contentious call that ultimately ended the match. Discover Why did Venus Williams not shake hands with umpire at Wimbledon?
Playing in the women’s singles for a record 24th time at the All England Club, Williams slipped early in the match against Elina Svitolina on Centre Court, leading to her defeat. However, the match concluded in a controversial fashion. On match point, a line judge called Williams’ shot out after Svitolina returned it onto the baseline. Svitolina challenged the call using hawk-eye technology, which confirmed that the ball was actually in. While Williams expected the point to be replayed, chair umpire Marija Cicak disagreed and awarded the point to Svitolina, ending the match.
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After sharing a wry smile with her opponent and shaking her hand, Williams chose not to shake hands with Cicak, instead shaking her head in disagreement. In the post-match press conference, Williams expressed her complete disagreement with the call and described it as “just that kind of day.”
Discussing the injury she sustained in the third game, which derailed her chances, Williams struggled to conceal her devastation. She acknowledged that slipping on grass is inherent to the game and attributed her fall to bad luck. Despite starting the match strongly, Williams felt shocked and disappointed with the outcome, especially since she believed she was in great form leading up to the tournament.
Svitolina, who made her return to the tour after giving birth in October, will face Elise Mertens from Belgium, the 28th seed, in the second round.