The Brussels P2 final won by Ale Galan and Fede Chingotto facing Agustin Tapia and Arturo Coello was the scene of some controversial situations for the match referee. The day after the match, let's review the choices he had to make Frenchman Florian Couturier.

A good decision undermined by VAR

Up to 6/4 – 5/4 in favor of Chingalan, the match went smoothly for the players. Then comes the famous moment of Arturo Coello's counter-smash: Florian Couturier sees the net move and decides to award the point to Chingotto and Galan. After examination of the point by the VAR at the request of the world number ones, the computer tool estimates that the Spaniard did not touch the net. Here is the moment in question:

It's difficult not to side with the Frenchman, since we can see on the video a back and forth movement of the net as Coello finishes his gesture. To be precise, doubt still remains whether it is the consequence of contact, or of the air swept by the Spaniard's racket. Whatever the case, the reflex that Florian Couturier had was the right one, and above all very well explained to the player immediately: “I'm sure the net moved, so for me you hit it".

Application of the regulations to the letter

Once the VAR has gone against the referee's judgment, the latter then sticks to the rules: he made his announcement before Coello's counter-smash ended up in par 4 and was a winner . Strictly speaking, this means that the point was stopped before its end, and that it must be replayed. Arturo Coello's disagreement can easily be understood, but it is not a decision subject to interpretation, Florian Couturier applies the regulations.

In the process, the frustration of “King Arturo” will result in racket blows on his thigh when he loses the next point. The referee does not step out of his role and applies a sanction to the world number ones. Despite his anger that he pours on the Frenchman, Arturo Coello knows perfectly well that this warning is justified: “I deserve that warning (I deserve this warning)”.

Galan's fair play

The last situation where Florian Couturier was the center of attention occurred at 2-2 in the tie-break of the second set. As Tapia hits a smash down the line, the music blares on the Center Court of the Gare Maritime. The referee therefore decides to replay the point, still applying the rules, so as not to harm anyone.

After a few seconds of discussion where Coello and Tapia tried to make it clear that the shot was a winner, Ale Galan simplified things by giving the point to the world number ones, believing that he was not going to be able to touch the ball. A gesture made official by the Frenchman and which will be welcomed by his opponents and the public.

It is therefore an understatement to say that Florian Couturier was challenged during this final, but we can conclude after analysis that he responded very well to each situation by being clear with the players and consistent with the regulations.

Martin Schmuda

A competitive tennis player, Martin discovered the padel in 2015 in Alsace and appeared in a few tournaments in Paris. Today a journalist, he deals with current affairs padel while continuing its rise in the world of the little yellow ball!