Brydan Klein, the Australian-born British tennis player who was banned from the sport for six months in 2009 for racially abusing an opponent, was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during his ATP Nottingham Challenger match on Thursday for calling himself a “stupid person” after he dumped a shot into the net. The point penalty gave Klein’s opponent, Sam Groth, the game, set, and match.
It was probably a bad call by umpire Mo Lahyani, but considering what happened a few points earlier when Klein was also assessed a penalty, it could be that Lahyani thought Klein was calling a line judge a stupid person. At 4-4 in the set, Klein hit a forehand wide to lose his serve and go down 5-4. He then spent the changeover arguing with Lahyani over the call and complaining about the line judge who called his clearly wide shot out.
“I would like to help you, but it’s too tough to call from here. I have to trust [the lineswoman],” Lahyani said. Klein said, “She’s a 60-year-old lady wearing like a...” and then Lahyani cut him off an assessed the first code violation. It’s hard to make out the entire exchange, but it begins in this video around the 1:07:20 mark.