Carreno Busta booed off court after bag-throwing meltdown

Carreno Busta booed off court after bag-throwing meltdown

It was more bag throw than dummy spit, but Pablo Carreno Busta had the meltdown of the Australian Open after his controversial fourth round loss, throwing his bag across court and screaming at the umpire after a critical line call.

The Spaniard was up 8-5 in the fifth set tie breaker with Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori when everything went pear-shaped.

Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta throws his bag in frustration after losing his fourth round match to Japan's Kei Nishikori.

Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta throws his bag in frustration after losing his fourth round match to Japan's Kei Nishikori.Credit:AP

Careno Busta was looking to go to match point when a line call went against him. Carreno Busta’s shot hit the tape and then hit the line, but was called out, when Nishikori put away a winner.

Carreno Busta challenged the line call and Hawkeye later showed his shot was in. The chair umpire refused a replay of the point regardless because he said the line call came after Nishikori's shot and he hit a winner so nothing of the point changed from the wrong line call.


Carreno Basta argued furiously at length with the umpire that the line call came before Nishikori's shot. The umpire would not be persuaded and after resuming play Carreno Busta did not win another point – Nishikori won five successive points and claimed the match.

Carreno Busta marched across the court, stopped briefly to embrace Nishikori, then picked up his bag and hurled it across the court.

He stormed over to his bag, to the boos of the crowd on Margaret Court Arena, as he turned back towards the chair umpire and screamed at the top of his lungs. He then gathered his bag and barged off court, still screaming as he went down the tunnel.

Carreno Busta argues with the umpire.

Carreno Busta argues with the umpire.Credit:EPA

"Obviously I'm very sad, no. Because after five hours fighting, after five hours' match the way that I [left] from the court wasn't correct and I'm so sorry because that's not mine," he said afterwards.

"But I think that the referee missed – the umpire who is near the court missed, and, well, I try to leave [as] fast as possible when I lost that last point, because I know that in any moment I lost the head.

"But it's tough, no, to me to leave Australian Open like this, because I think that I played really good. I play an unbelievable match. Also Kei, he play really good, and that's sad to leave like this."

It looked like the umpire made the right call. The linesman’s call was virtually simultaneous with Nishikori putting away a winner down the line and so didn’t change the point. Afterwards, Carreno Busta insisted the call was wrong.


"I don't need to watch the repeat, the replay of the point, because I know clearly that the line umpire calls out. Then Nishikori make a winner. Obviously the point for Nishikori was so we see. But sometimes the line umpires make mistakes, and that's the game, no?" he said.

"You have Hawkeyes. I call the Hawkeye. The Hawkeye says the ball was good. And the umpire, I
don't know why, but he tried to, I don't know – I don't know why, but he say that the point for Nishikori. If he thinks that the point is for Nishikori, why I can call the Hawkeye, you know? If I call the Hawkeye and the ball is out, I lost the Hawkeye. If I call the Hawkeye and the ball is in, I lost the point. I don't understand.

"Of course [the point should be replayed]. I know that's bad luck for him in this case, because he has easy shot, but if the umpire did a mistake, the point, you have to repeat it."

Under the new super tie break rules the tie break goes to ten and a two points lead. Had it gone to seven and two ahead of the opponent, Carreno Busta would have already won.

Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.

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