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from CNNSI:


Third-set code violation call in win angers Safin
Posted: Saturday January 19, 2002 4:33 AM


MELBOURNE (Reuters) -- Russia's Marat Safin is facing a hefty fine after he ranted and swore at an Australian Open umpire on Saturday when he was given a code violation for hitting a line judge with a ball.

Safin clashed with umpire Norm Chryst after the official handed him the code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct during his third round 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over compatriot Mikhail Youzhny.

Safin, ninth seed here this year, said he absent-mindedly hit a ball towards the ball boys at the back of the court and had no intention of hitting the judge.

He saw red when the official -- with whom he has clashed before -- doled out the warning.

"I'm so disappointed this kind of thing happens to me with same chair umpire...[previously] he took a game from me for nothing," he said at a news conference after the match.

"Today I had nothing against him, nothing against the linesman.

"I was trying to try to give ball to ballboy... he said 'why did you have to hit the linesman with ball, why did you have to do this?'

"Everybody can make a mistake. The chair umpire has to use his brains sometimes."

Safin became increasingly agitated when the umpire refused to remove his sunglasses during the confrontation.

"I'm talking to him nicely and he's talking to me...and he's talking to me like 'I'm the king of the court" and it's not right.

"I cannot talk to the person with sunglasses... he should talk to me with respect like I am talking to him.

"He's doing whatever he wants on the court... why should I respect him if he doesn't respect me?

"'Safin's going nuts on the court' -- it looks great in the newspapers.

"I'm just amazed that these kinds of things can happen. I'm winning 6-4, 6-4 and 3-2, why should I hit the linesman with the ball?"

Safin said we was fully prepared to fight his corner over the issue.

"He can fight with me, I don't care. I'm right, I'm 100 percent right and everybody saw it."

A spokesman for the International Tennis Federation, which sanctions grand slam events, said no action would be taken until video tapes of the incident had been reviewed and the umpire had spoken to the tournament referee.

Safin, winner of the 2000 U.S. Open, had proved too powerful for 19-year-old Youzhny, and served out the match after one hour and 45 minutes.

Safin slammed 12 aces past Youzhny, his first serve averaging a daunting 119 mph.

The Australian Open is the only one of the four grand slam events where Safin is yet to reach the quarterfinals. He faces another huge obstacle to that record, with Pete Sampras his likely fourth round opponent.

Sampras was playing Frenchman Nicolas Escude later on Saturday
 
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