Indian duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi were engaged in a verbal confrontation with their rivals Juan Monaco of Argentina and Spain’s Feliciano Lopez during the second round men’s doubles match of the Australian Open on Saturday.
Just after the end of the match, Lopez accused Paes of trying to provoke him and his partner during the match that the “Indian Express” duo won 7-6 (2) 6-4 to enter into the third round of the Grand Slam.
The match officials then had to step in to calm down the players who started remonstrating on court.
The television footage showed that the four players gathered at the net, arguing and signalling with their hands.
“We were playing, match was quiet and one of the players (Paes), he was trying to provoke us all the time,” said Lopez. “I know it’s the style he been using the past 20 years. But that’s OK. Nothing else,” he added.
Lopez also said that there was a time during that match when he and his Argentine partner got irritated with the way (Paes) was trying to unsettle them. “At one point, we were a little bit tired of the style he was using on the court and that’s all what happened ... We don’t want to make a big story about something that happened.”
However, Lopez later claimed that there was no lingering problem. On the other hand, tournament officials refused to instantly comment on the issue.
Keywords: Australian Open