Emma Raducanu‘s US Open final opponent Leylah Rodriguez has admitted she was wrong to protest about the Briton’s medical timeout during the match as she sought treatment for a cut on her knee. The 18-year-old was bleeding and needed to be patched up, but Rodriguez and some spectators at the Arthur Ashe Stadium were not pleased with the timing of the break.
Tennis rules quite clearly state that play must be stopped “as soon as possible and the sports physiotherapist must be called to court by the chair umpire for evaluation and treatment”.
And that’s what happened as soon as blood was spotted trickling down Raducanu’s leg during the point after she had slid and grazed her knee to return at the back of the court.
Fernandez had a break point when play was stopped, and the Canadian was visibly frustrated that her momentum had been stopped.
Some sections of the crowd also voiced their disapproval of the stoppage, but Fernandez later admitted she was wrong to complain and that the medical timeout was in-keeping with the sport’s regulations.
The 19-year-old added it was the gravity of the occasion – she too was playing in her first Grand Slam final after knocking out a string of far more experienced players – which had put her so on edge.
Martina Navratilova, commentating live on Amazon Prime, also defended the Brit as the rules dictate the match had to be stopped to stem of the flow of the bleeding.
“It’s not Raducanu’s choice,” she said. “Blood is streaming down your leg there’s nothing you can do about it.
“It’s unfortunate for both players.”
While the incident has divided opinion, there is nowhere near as much animosity as there was surrounding the biggest timeout controversy at this year’s tournament at Flushing Meadows.