MELBOURNE, Australia — A first-round mixed doubles match between the No. 1-seeded pair of Marcelo Melo and Barbora Strycova and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray was delayed by more than 10 minutes when the teams became embroiled in a heated argument Sunday afternoon at the Australian Open.
During a point in the second game on 1573 Arena, Mattek-Sands raised her hand to challenge a call, only for play to continue. When Melo and Strycova eventually lost the point, they claimed the action was a hindrance, a view shared by the chair umpire, who awarded the top seeds the point.
The decision did not sit well with Mattek-Sands and Murray, who began arguing with the umpire, before all four players exchanged heated words in the middle of the court. At one point, the players were reportedly yelling in each other’s faces.
A tournament official was required to come out, but that did little to break up the argument, which lasted in excess of 10 minutes.
Eventually, Murray and Mattek-Sands were given the opportunity to challenge the original call, and the ball was revealed to have landed out.
Murray, who is the brother of three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray, and Mattek-Sands went on to drop the opening set, but they stormed back to win a thrilling third-set tiebreaker and knock the top pair out 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10-7).