Something curious happened today in the Linz tennis WTA tournament during the second round match between Ana Ivanovic (picture ©Henry Weidemann) and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova: after the first game the Serbian felt a little sick and asked the chair umpire to go to the toilet but when she came back she discovered she had been sanctioned with a penalty game.
It seems that Ivanovic pointed out to the chair umpire that she really needed to go out and she thought she had received permission to go but instead it seems that the chair umpire wanted her to wait so her exit was considered a time code violation and the Serbian was sanctioned with one penalty point for each 20 seconds of violation for a total of four points that made a game.
Luckily Ana Ivanovic felt better and won the match 6-3 6-2 so the penalty had no influence and after the match she attributed the whole problem to a miscommunication without complaining.
The chair umpire behaviour is a bit puzzling: when he saw that Ivanovic was going out he could call her back and warn her that if she didn’t want to wait she would be penalized. Maybe it was possible to give her a medical time-out considering that she was feeling sick: during the season you can see time-outs called with the strangest excuses while in this case it was obvious that Ana Ivanovic had no other reasons to go out so it’s funny that she was sanctioned with penalty points for a real sickness.