A racist rant by Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev led to his disqualification from the Savannah Challenger USTA event on Thursday. His opponent Donald Young won the match by default.
Medvedev, 20, was down 3-1 in the first set, but was about to break Young's serve when chair umpire Sandy French said his forehand shot went wide.
Medvedev, who assumed he'd broken Young's serve, walked over to his chair and sat down -- only to be told by French to play on.
"What?" said Medvedev, as the crowd laughed.
Even Young seemed confused by French's call. He walked over to analyze the mark left by Medvedev's ball on the clay court.
French climbed down out of the umpire's perch to take a closer look at the mark herself.
Convinced that his forehand shot was on the line, Medvedev remained seated.
After analyzing the mark, French again told Medvedev to play on.
“I know that you are friends. I am sure about it," he said to French while pointing to Young.
Both French and Young are black.
Medvedev played on, but Young held serve and Medvedev lost the game to trail 4-1 in the first set.
At that point, French called tournament supervisor Keith Crossland over to speak with Medvedev about his attitude.
After a lengthy discussion with Medvedev, Crossland walked over to French and advised her that Medvedev was in default for "unsportsmanlike conduct."
French announced the match was over. “Game. Set. Match. Young. 4-1. Default,” French said into the microphone, as the crowd sat in stunned silence. "What?!" one woman yelled.
Confused match commentator Mike Cation theorized that maybe Medvedev said something to Crossland that was far worse than the "friends" remark. "I wish we had picked up exactly what Medvedev said because it must have been pretty bad," said Cation.
John McEnroe's legendary meltdowns on the court in the 1980s rarely ever resulted in his disqualification.
A few observers believe political correctness was at fault on Thursday.