MELBOURNE, Australia -- Umpire David Bierwirth declared Australian Peter McNamara the winner over Vitas Gerulaitis in the final of the $142,000 Miracle indoor tennis championships Sunday after the American argued with officials over a disputed line call.
McNamara won the stormy, two-hour match, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, after Gerulaitis refused to continue play with the score standing at 5-5 in the final set.
Gerulaitis, the defending champion who at one time led the final set 4-0, was serving for the match at 5-4. McNamara broke Gerulaitis' serve when a passing shot down the line from the American was called 'out' in a late call.
Gerulaitis argued with Bierwirth, tournament referee Jim Entink and Grand Prix supervisor Keith Johnson, asking for the removal of the umpire and a service linesman before he would continue.
Officials turned down the request and Gerulaitis sat in his courtside chair, refusing to play on. Bierwirth gave the American a time warning, awarded two penalty points against him, followed by a game penalty. Eventually he awarded the match to McNamara.
Gerulaitis then left his chair, shook hands with McNamara, bundled up his rackets and hurried off the court.
Gerulaitis was later fined $1,990 for failing to complete a match and abusing an official.
Gerulaitis had received several disputed calls during the match, and he later said the officiating was the worst he had ever experienced.
'Australia should follow the example of the United States and use younger officials,' he said.
'You have three ladies there who have to be over 60 years of age. I mean, I love my grandmother -- she's 92 -- but when I get too old two years from now and I can't make the cut in a tournament, nobody's going to feel sorry for me.
'So why can't we keep at least guys that are sharp, that are used to officiating and that are on the ball. And if they make mistakes, fine, but these people have been making mistakes for 60 years and that's just not fair,' Gerulaitis said.
Gerulaitis collected the runnerup check for $14,375, while McNamara earned $28,750.