Latest: Coco Gauff ‘Fueled’ by Umpire Argument, Comes Back to Win Match At Dubai Tournament

Coco Gauff was involved in an over four-minute-long dispute mid-match with chair umpire Pierre Bacchi on Wednesday during her third-round match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The American tennis star disagreed with Bacchi’s late “out” call on her first serve in the second set against Karolina Pliskova. However, Gauff’s challenge on the call proved the serve to be in. But, because Pliskova’s return hit the net, Bacchi argued that Gauff should restart the point since her opponent thought the serve was out. Gauff thought Pliskova’s return happened before Bacchi called the ball out, though.

This disagreement on what occurred frustrated Gauff, and she began asking to speak with the tour supervisor. Bacchi repeatedly denied her access, leading to the extended back-and-forth.

Gauff didn’t let this roadblock stop her from keeping her head in the game, though. She made a comeback after dropping the first set to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. After the match, the 20-year-old attributed the dispute as what “fueled” her comeback.

“I think it fueled me,” Gauff said. “I want to watch back the video, I feel confident that [the call] was after [Pliskova hit the return]. But, it’s O.K., it’s just one point. That happens in tennis. Players make mistakes, everybody makes mistakes, if it was. It kind of went up from there, for me.”

Gauff didn’t regret standing her ground during the match, even if it created a pause in the middle of the competition.

“I think I was trying to tell myself to stay calm the next point,” Gauff continued. “Sometimes, I get angry and I go for too much. I was just trying to let that not be the turning point for the set. … Maybe I dragged it out a little longer than I needed to, but I did what I felt was best in that moment.”

Gauff will face Anna Kalinskaya in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Thursday.

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