Australian Open chair umpire Marijana Veljovic steals the show
‘My favourite chair person!’ Internet goes wild for ‘elegantly cute’ umpire who stole the show at Australian Open after tense clash with Roger Federer
- Chair umpire Marijana Veljovic stole the show at the Australian Open on Tuesday
- The Serbian called a code violation on Roger Federer after he swore on the court
- Fans were quick to praise the umpire for standing up to the tennis star
Roger Federer may have caused a stir with an expletive-laden outburst at the Australian Open on Tuesday – but it was the female chair umpire who stole the show.
Fans saw Marijana Veljovic square off with the Swiss tennis icon during a tense five-set match against unseeded American Tennys Sandgren at Melbourne Park.
The Serbian judge called a code violation on Federer for an ‘audible obscenity’, after a lineswoman heard him let out an ‘R-rated German word.’
A fuming Federer was seen arguing with a calm and collected Veljovic, who ultimately refused to back down on her call.
The umpire has been praised on social media for standing up to world’s most famous tennis player, in addition to winning over a few admirers who could not keep their eyes off the 33-year-old official.
Spectators saw Marijana Veljovic square off with Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer during a tense five-set match against unseeded American Tennys Sandgren at Melbourne Park on Tuesday
All eyes on Veljovic: The Serbian judge called a code violation on Federer for an ‘audible obscenity’, after a lineswoman heard him let out an ‘R-rated German word’
The 33-year-old won over a few admirers on Twitter after the match on Tuesday. Many were quick to praise her for standing up to the world’s most famous tennis player
‘I’m watching the Federer/Sandgren match, and the chair umpire Marijana Veljovic looking so pretty. Not gonna lie… I’ll watch the game for her!’ a fan tweeted.
Veljovic, a gold-badge umpire, has officiated two grand slams, the 2019 Wimbledon Championships and a Fed Cup Final
‘The best thing about this Federer-Sandgren match is Marijana Veljovic,’ said another.
‘Nick Kyrgios always requests Melbourne Arena when playing. I’d just request Marijana Veljovic. My favourite chair person.’
Google searches for the umpire even spiked at the time of the stoush, sports journalist Brendan Bradford said.
Veljovic, a gold-badge umpire, has officiated two grand slams, the 2019 Wimbledon Championships and a Fed Cup Final.
In 2018, she spoke about being one of the few women who officiate the sport.
‘Whether you are a girl or a guy, if you do well and they think you are good enough to do the biggest matches, it feels amazing that our sport is allowing us that,’ she said.
One person tweeted a photo of the umpire, calling her ‘super hot and elegantly cute’
Veljovic stood by her call, explaining the Swiss lineswoman heard Federer swear ‘very clearly’
Sports journalist Brendan Bradford pointed out a spike in Google searches for Marijana Veljovic after the row
Earlier, Federer had confronted Veljovic after she called the code violation on the star.
‘What did I say?’ Federer asked, confused as to how she understood his remark.
Veljovic replied: ‘I can’t repeat that,’ before explaining the Swiss lineswoman had heard him swear ‘very clearly.’
A fuming Federer walked over to confront the lineswoman, before going over to Veljovic again, who stood firmly on her call.
In a post-match press conference – after a shock victory – a much more relaxed Federer admitted to swearing in two different languages.
The on-court squabble comes after Federer aimed a terse remark at the umpire last week during his match against British player Daniel Evans.
When Veljovic asked whether the court was playable after a few drops of rain late in the first set, Federer replied: ‘It’s always playable until a leg gets broken. I’d rather wait a little bit’.
Federer saved seven match points on Tuesday and sealed a remarkable 15th Australian Open semi-final berth.
Hampered by a groin injury, the six-time champion appeared headed for a shock exit against Sandgren before rallying for a miraculous 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 victory.
It earned the 38-year-old 20-times major champion a record-extending 46th grand slam semi-final appearance.
Above she is pictured with Diego Schwartzman at the 2018 French Open
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