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Beyond the Baseline

Controversy in men's doubles final

Jurgen Melzer and Philip Petzschner won their second Grand Slam doubles title together on Saturday night, beating Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-2, 6-2 in the U.S. Open final. But the result may be known less for what the champions did and more for what Petzschner didn't do.

At 2-2 in the second set, Matkowski hit a short cross-court volley putaway that Petzschner appeared to get a racket on and volley back for a winner. Matkowski and Fyrstenberg went ballistic, claiming the ball did not come off Petzschner's racket, but his leg. The umpire disagreed, and when the Polish duo asked Petzschner directly, he denied the ball came off any part of his body. The point was awarded, Petzschner and Melzer went on to win, and Matkowski was left seething, refusing to shake Petzschner's hand after the match.

Man. Wouldn't it be great if we had some sort of mechanism where we could rewatch what happened and see it in slo-mo to determine, conclusively, whether Petzschner committed a huge breach in tennis etiquette and sportsmanship by not owning up to the hit?

Oh, what's that? We live in the world of video, instant replay and YouTube? Well, in that case, roll tape!

The ball clearly bounced off Petzchner's calf. It's not even close. And his refusal to own up to it? Let's just say it caused some to sit up and take notice:

When a member of Team World Peace weighs in, you know you're in the wrong.

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