Wimbledon 2022: Salisbury through despite hawkeye controversy

Joe Salisbury and doubles partner Rajeev Ram battled into the Men’s doubles semi-final despite frustration at a hugely contentious hawkeye call.

Top seeds Salisbury and Ram battled past French duo Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3 6-7 (1) 6-1 3-6 6-4 in Wednesday’s quarter-final.

However it was a moment towards the end of the second set that proved the main talking point, with the Brit and his American partner left in disbelief over a line call.

The duo thought they had broken to serve for the set at 6-5 when Roger-Vasselin seemingly pushed the ball long, only for hawkeye to show the ball was in.

There was a five-minute delay as Salisbury and Ram contested the decision with a tournament supervisor, though eventually the match resumed with the point awarded to the French.

“We were 100% convinced that the hawkeye was wrong. Obviously we wouldn’t have done what we did and ask for the supervisors if we weren’t completely convinced the ball was out, a long way out,” said Salisbury.

“We saw it that way, the umpire saw it that way, the line judge called it out and the umpire didn’t overrule it and he agreed with us. We couldn’t believe that they had challenged it, we went and sat down convinced we’d won the game.

“I guess there’s a chance that we all saw it wrong, the line judge, the umpire, us. To us it wasn’t even close. They checked the hawkeye and it seemed like it was OK for the rest of the match, it didn’t seem like there were any that were completely wrong. Maybe we all need to get our eyes checked.

“We got pretty riled up about it and pretty frustrated. We would’ve broken and been serving for the second set and we were pretty frustrated. I don’t think it affected us too much, we managed to hold serve afterwards and went into the tie-break feeling OK.

“Some people it helps and it almost gives them a reason to get more stuck in and more into it, a reason to fight, but for me it just makes me angry and then I don’t really respond well when I’m feeling like that, so I managed to put it out of my mind.

”It was not the only decision that raised eyebrows, with a call earlier in the second set also having gone against the world No.1.

Salisbury added: “There was one a few games earlier where again I was surprised that they challenged it. I thought it was quite a bit out and it showed it was in, and the umpire agreed with us.

“We thought that it was a strange one but it was the first time and it was off a serve pretty quick and maybe we got it wrong, but later was a fairly slow volley.

“After that one we were like: ‘this is ridiculous.’”

Salisbury and Ram sealed victory to set up a meeting against Max Purcell and Matt Ebden – who beat them in the Australian Open semi-final in January.

It will be Salisbury’s third Wimbledon semi-final – his second with Ram – and despite the controversy, he was pleased with how he finished the contest.

He said: “I think that’s our first five-set win. We obviously only play the five sets here and we played one a few years ago where we lost 13-12 in the fifth, but I think we were just really happy with how we stuck with it the whole match.

“They’re a really tough team and we haven’t done too well against Mahut in the past, and I thought they really raised their game in the fourth. I’m just happy that we came through it and played really well in the end.”

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