Andy Roddick backs Coco Gauff after bizarre Dubai umpire row

Coco Gauff on court in 2024
Coco Gauff reacts in a match in 2024

Former world No 1 Andy Roddick believes that chair umpire Pierre Bacchi was “completely wrong” in an incident that involved Coco Gauff.

Gauff pulled off a comeback win in the Round of 16 on Wednesday, outlasting Karolina Pliskova 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to claim a quarterfinal spot in Dubai.

Gauff had lost the first set of her second-round match against Pliskova 2-6, but she came back to break in the second.

With the score at 4-2, the defending US Open champion was on the receiving end of a contentious ruling when, despite successfully reviewing a serve shot that had been originally declared out, umpire Bacchi ordered the point to be replayed.

This resulted in a lengthy conversation between Gauff and the umpire, during which the American repeatedly sought a supervisor, only to be denied, and the video went viral on social media.

Roddick could not believe that the chair umpire denied Gauff’s reasonable request after he had so clearly made an error.

“This is an absurd exchange for this umpire,” Roddick wrote on X.

“1. He’s completely wrong 2. He’s lying about being wrong. 3. She must have simply said 10 plus times, I’d like the supervisor. That’s not a judgement call. He simply needed to honor that normal request and call the supervisor.”

READ MORE: Coco Gauff reveals that tennis is not her top priority

Gauff delivered 17 unforced errors in the opening set but would regroup in the second, shaking off the argument with the chair umpire.

“At [last year’s] US Open, I think I lost two or three games in a row once I argued,” Gauff said.

“[This time,] when I walked away, I was like, ‘OK, don’t let one point turn into a three- or four-point ordeal.’ I definitely was able to reset after that. I put myself in the position to win that set.”

Gauff collected her victory over Pliskova after 1 hour and 53 minutes, and edged ahead in their head-to-head with her second win over the Czech in three meetings.

“I feel like [Pliskova’s] been playing well since the start of the year, coming back from injury,” Gauff said after her win. “Even though her ranking is probably not where it should be considering the caliber of player she is, I think it definitely felt like a top win for me. Hopefully I can continue to use that to build my confidence going into the rest of this week.”

Gauff has bounced back well from a disappointing visit to Doha where she lost in her first outing.