Outspoken Coco Vandeweghe slammed the chair umpire more than she did the tennis ball in her first-round upset loss to 81st-ranked Naomi Osaka of Japan on Monday at the US Open.
While Vandeweghe was hard on herself, she was harder on the umpire, Fergus Murphy. Vandeweghe accused of Murphy of berating her after the second set for taking a bathroom break without disclosing she would be changing her clothes. Vandeweghe, the niece of NBA’s chief of operations Kiki Vandeweghe, didn’t shake the umpire’s hand after the 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 defeat.
“I don’t think he deserved to have my respect,’’ Vandeweghe said. “It was a good match, but it’s unfortunate the chair umpire has to influence himself on the match to make him feel important. … I thought he was terrible at both ends. He wasn’t just terrible for me.”
Vandeweghe is known for her candid remarks. During the 2015 Wimbledon, the San Diego product called Knicks star Carmelo Anthony “soft.” Coco’s grandfather, Ernie, played for the Knicks in the 1950s, as did Kiki.
She didn’t call the umpire soft, but said he “scolded’’ her for taking a bathroom break in which she changed her clothes because they were wet. The umpire wanted to be informed. Vandeweghe said she didn’t think it “necessary” to tell the umpire of the wardrobe change.
Of course, that’s not why she lost.
“It was more playing tentative at the wrong moments,” the 28th-seeded Vandeweghe said. “You have to keep pressure on someone like that in a tough situation. I was tentative and passive and it’s inexcusable. I’m really pissed. It sucks.’’
Rafael Nadal, whose wrist was bandaged, won his first Grand Slam match in more than three months with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 rout of Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. Nadal hadn’t played at a major since winning his second-rounder at the French Open on May 26. He then withdrew from Roland Garros because of a wrist injury and sat out Wimbledon.
There was a scary incident with French Open champ Garbine Muguruza, who lost the first set and summoned the trainer over a breathing issue in the heat. The third seed from Spain ultimately prevailed over Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3.