Tennis star rants at ‘absolute joke’ umpire as fans say they ‘love the drama’

Tennis star Holger Rune labelled umpire Mohamed Lahyani an "absolute joke" during his drama-packed clash with Novak Djokovic.

The 20-year-old Dane emerged victorious from their Italian Open quarter-final clash, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in Rome this afternoon (May 17) – despite a contentious call going against him.

Swede Lahyani called out for a ball and Hawkeye, which is not used in clay competitions, showed it had in fact gone long. Rune called him down from his chair to look at landing point and fumed: “You're an absolute joke, man."

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His coach, Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou, stood up and told him to calm down as he continued to protest the decision back at his chair. "It's always the umpire who makes me look like the bad guy," Rune added.

Djokovic also clashed with the umpire midway through the contest. The world No. 1 wasn't happy with how long Lahyani was taking to call out the score, as he was pausing in between changing languages.

Are you a fan of Rune? Let us know in the comments section.

He questioned: "What's the drama of waiting between English and Italian to call the score? Are you acting here or what?"

Fans lapped up the entertainment on social media, with one tweeting: "Loving all the drama." A second joked: "ATP is the world's best reality TV show."

A third commented: "We had spectacle, drama, rain and beautiful points. Thank you gentlemen and congratulations Holger for this big victory!"

And a fourth hailed: "This match had everything. Drama. Comedy. Brilliant tennis. Holger and Novak aren't just tennis players, they are true entertainers. The fans got their money's worth."

Rune is impressing in the build-up to the French Open, which kicks off next week. He achieved his best Grand Slam finish at Roland Garros last year when he reached the final eight.


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