Tatjana Maria has consulted with a lawyer in order to take legal action regarding her second round match with French world No50 Alize Cornet, the German player confirmed on Friday.
Cornet, who beat Maria in three sets, started cramping in her right leg in the tiebreak of the second set and received several medical treatments – some during changeovers, and some as medical timeouts – also claiming that she had hip pain in her left side at 2-1 in the third. The rules state that players are not allowed to receive medical timeouts for cramps and could only get treatment during changeovers twice when cramping.
Maria accused Cornet of cheating, alleging that the Frenchwoman received preferential treatment that was not within the rules.
The trainer and ITF supervisor Wayne McKewen appeared out of nowhere and helped Cornet to her bench at 1-2 in the third, after which she received a lengthy medical timeout. Cornet argued with McKewen, explaining to him that she would not receive treatment on her cramping right leg but that she would for her left hip problem.
After the match on Thursday, Maria told her opponent that she wasn’t “fair play”, while Cornet responded “you neither”.
I am really sad and i know that it will not change the result! But this story is not done! Rules are here for something right?— Tatjana Maria (@Maria_Tatjana) May 26, 2016
After beating Cornet and Magda Linette in doubles yesterday, alongside partner Madison Brengle, Maria told reporters she is consulting with a lawyer in order to take legal action.
“Yes we are going to speak with a lawyer because – I want to say clearly that it’s not about me losing a match, I really accept that I lost this match yesterday, but I think happened on that court that weren’t really the rules for me and I felt it was a little bit against me and that’s why I’d like to consult with a lawyer,” said Maria on Friday.
Asked who she would be suing, the German added: “My husband is taking care of this, I want to concentrate on tennis. This morning today we spoke with the lawyer, and now let’s see. It’s maybe against the tournament, maybe it’s against the ITF, the WTA, I have no idea exactly what is the thing.”
The crowd, naturally, were heavily behind Cornet during the match. Asked if she felt Cornet received preferential treatment because she was a local player, Maria said: “Maybe because she was French, I don’t know, I don’t want to think about this. The thing was that it was clear, at one point, especially at 2-1, for me and for a lot of people, she had a cramp and she couldn’t move.
“And the rule is that you cannot be treated for cramps. But in this moment I didn’t understand why everybody was running on the court to help her, that’s not the rule.
“After it happened what happened, but we saw it also on video that she took longer than the allowed 20 seconds (to serve), so a lot of things happened that were not fair.”
Maria said the majority of the locker room was behind her and believe in her complaints.
“I never received so many messages in my life since yesterday, everybody, even players today, more than 100 players came to me and said they are behind me and ‘it was amazing what she did and how she behaved’. And even the French people they wrote me they are sorry for her behaviour,” said the 28-year-old.
“So many people they said ‘okay we are behind you and you are our winner’. This doesn’t help but it was nice to hear all those messages because it was for sure hurting to lose like this.”
Maria clarified that she would not be suing Cornet and that her main grievance was the lack of action from umpire, Tamara Vrhovec, and the supervisor.
“They saw what happened. It was really clear that she was cramping. I don’t know what she told the physio, I know only that the referee one time she said time to me and I asked her ‘it’s time?’ and I went backwards and after she said ‘no it’s not time’ so she changed her mind because she had no idea what she was doing.”
Maria said that her husband and coach, Charles Edouard Maria went to the referee’s office after the match to complain and that an investigation is underway.
However, when Sport360 contacted the referee’s office, they stated that indeed her husband has a “discussion” with them but no investigation was taking place.
Maria said she wanted someone to be held accountable for what happened, the same way players are reprimanded when they break the rules.
“As players, we have rules on the tennis court, outside of the tennis court and we have to accept these rules. We have to enter tournaments or we have to behave on the court or we have to… certain things. And we know if we’re not doing this, we get a fine, we have to pay for this. And on the other side, when they (umpires) make a mistake, nothing happens because nobody wants to go against them. I don’t know, maybe nothing will happen, I really don’t know. But I think at one point we must draw the line,” she explained.
@Maria_Tatjana I am sorry about your match you handled it well watched it on tv!— Jarmila Wolfe (@tennis_jarkag) May 26, 2016
After the match on Thursday, Cornet insisted that she did not violate any rules.
“I didn’t understand so much why she was so mad at me. She even told me when we shake hands that she thought I was not fair play,” said Cornet, who faces Venus Williams in the third round on Saturday.
“Well, I didn’t choose to cramp at the end of the second set, and I didn’t choose to have this pain in my leg, and I needed a treatment for that. I didn’t take a treatment for my cramp because I know the rule, and I respect it.
“So actually, my right leg was totally pulling apart and not treating, but I had the treatment for my hip because I felt a pain. I went totally by the rule, and I’m really sorry she got so pissed because this is useless.”