Hong Kong: First of all, Badmintonplanet.com would like to congratulate Lee Cheuk Yiu’s superb performance at the 2019 Hong Kong Open, by beating several world’s top players such as Shi Yuqi in the second round, Viktor Axelsen in the quarter-finals and Kidambi Srikanth in the semi-final before winning the Hong Kong Open against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 16-21, 21-10, 22-20 in the final.
This article has no intend to undermine Lee’s effort of winning the title, but would like to show how the match umpire Joerg Hupertz of Germany made the questionable call during the championship point and hope BWF would allow some sort of instant replay review in the future to avoid similar incident from happening again.
When Lee was leading at 21-20 in the decider, the Hong Kong player lifted the shuttlecock a little high near the net and Ginting killed it, but it was called “fault” by the umpire, which ended up giving Lee the championship point in the final of the Super 500 tournament on Sunday.
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting was extremely disappointed with the call, but obviously there’s nothing he could do to change the outcome of the match.
“Of course I am very disappointed, angry and felt that the referee’s decision was unfair,” said Ginting.
“This happened at a critical moment and personally, I think there was nothing wrong,” added Ginting.
“But there are always winners and losers in a match, I’ll have to accept it,” explained Ginting.
Well, before we get into the details of what happened during the last shot, let’s try to understand the official BWF rule about calling “fault” when hitting a shuttlecock over a net.
1. It shall be a ‘fault’:
1.1 if, in play, a player:
1.1.2 touches the net or its supports with racket, person or dress;
1.1.3 invades an opponent’s court over the net with racket or person except that the striker may follow the shuttle over the net with the racket in the course of a stroke after the initial point of contact with the shuttle is on the striker’s side of the net.
1.1.4 invades an opponent’s court under the net with racket or person such that an opponent is obstructed or distracted; or
1.1.5 obstructs an opponent, i.e. prevents an opponent from making a legal stroke where the shuttle is followed over the net;
1.1.6 deliberately distracts an opponent by any action such as shouting or making gestures;
In order to review the problematic decision made by Joerg Hupertz, BadmintonPlanet has captured screenshots below to reproduce the last shot from Ginting which was faulted by the umpire.
1. Picture 1 showed the shuttlecock was already on Ginting’s side.
2. Picture 2 showed Ginting’s racket has initiated contact with the shuttlecock.
3. Picture 3 showed Ginting’s racket has crossed over the net. Let’s pause for a second, rule 1.1.3 above clearly stated it’s completely acceptable when “the striker may follow the shuttle over the net with the racket in the course of a stroke after the initial point of contact with the shuttle is on the striker’s side of the net.”
4. Picture 4,5, 6 showed although Ginting’s racket has crossed the net, but he killed the shuttlecock without even touching the net. Therefore, he shouldn’t be faulted by rule 1.1.2 above that said “if a player touches the net or its supports with racket, person or dress;”
5. However, picture 7 showed the umpire called “fault” on Ginting, which ended up giving the title to Lee.
From the screenshots above, we didn’t see any problems with Ginting’s shot that was faulted by the umpire. Below is the video, we’ll let you decide for yourself whether this is a correct or wrong call.
Meanwhile, Indonesia also suffered another disappointment in men’s doubles final when World No. 2 Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan were defeated by World No. 13 Choi Solgyu/Seo Seung Jae of Korea 21-13, 12-21, 13-21.