CHAIR UMPIRES have come under heavy scrutiny in the opening week of the US Open – and John Blom has attracted more attention.
The Australian referee took a heavy tumble as he made his way down the steps of his chair, landing in between doubles pair Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli.
It looked to be a painful fall, knocking out a drink on the way, as he ended up on the deck sprawled out between the two Italians, who were somewhat shocked.
Thankfully, though, there was no damage done to Blom, who saw users discussing the incident on Twitter and chipped in to confirm he was uninjured before giving the players credit for their reaction.
He said in response to an earlier tweet: “That was me Richard. The entire arm rest came off in my hands as I was trying to step down. No damage done, apart from to my ego.
“Actually they were both good. They were probably just stunned, they helped me up as soon as I realised my back was still largely in one piece. :)”
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Blom was shown support on Twitter with people glad he was okay and others joking whether he asked for a medical time-out.
When Fognini and Bolelli came on to court, it was their striking matching USA-themed outfits which initially caught the eye.
But Blom soon had all eyes on him ahead of the first-round doubles clash between the Italians and German duo Kevin Krawietz and Maximilian Marterer, which Fognini and Bolelli won in three sets.
And Wednesday’s incident is not the only time chair umpires have grabbed the headlines at the US Open this year.
Herbert was “angry” and labelled US Open bosses “fools” for only giving Lahyani a ticking off, while Andy Murray commented on the Aussie’s Instagram posting: “When you going to announce Mohamed Lahyani as your new coach?”
Earlier in the week, Alize Cornet was slapped with a code violation by her umpire for turning her t-shirt around the right way, causing a social media sexism storm.