- Rafael Nadal was docked a serve by umpire Carlos Ramos in French Open match
- Nadal had been twice warned, but said the umpire had targeted him
- Nadal won the fourth-round tie against fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut
Rafa Nadal believes referees should not be too quick to punish players who take longer to prepare between points, after he received a penalty for slow play during his French Open fourth round victory on Sunday.
The nine-time champion beat fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the last eight but was twice warned by umpire Carlos Ramos for slow play, before being docked a serve after breaching the mandated 25-second limit between points.
And Nadal said it was bad for the game to see players rushed, and believed he had been targeted by the umpire.
Rafael Nadal has hit out at umpires after being docked a serve during his fourth-round win
Nadal put the incident behind him to sweep past Roberto Bautista Agut at the French Open
‘If you want to play well, you have to let players breathe a little. We’re not machines that cannot think. That’s my viewpoint,’ Nadal told reporters.
‘What else can I say?… But this umpire is, I think, trying, in a certain way, to look for my faults, my errors.’
The 14-times grand slam champion believes that umpires should focus on the match rather than the time elapsed.
‘Theoretically, the umpires are here to analyse the match and they are not here to use the stopwatch, otherwise we should have a stopwatch on the court,’ Nadal added.
‘That’s the whole point. Some dictate things or give their calls in a certain way. Other umpires have different styles.’
Nadal next faces Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarter-finals and remains on course to win the competition for a 10th time.
Umpire Carlos Ramos has also clashed with Novak Djokovic at this year’s French Open