Tennis umpire Luigi Brambilla was suspended Wednesday for walking...


DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -- Tennis umpire Luigi Brambilla was suspended Wednesday for walking off the court after a discussion with two players in a match at the $1.8 million International Players Championships.

Ken Farrar, chief supervisor for the Men's International Professional Tennis Council, suspended the Italian umpire for leaving the court Tuesday during the first-round match between Ivan Lendl-Larry Stefanki.


Brambilla refused to comment on the decision.

Another umpire said Brambilla left the court because he felt the players were ignoring him when he asked them to stop playing and were 'making him look foolish in front of the crowd.'

Farrar said Brambilla was to have had two chair assignments today, 'but I have taken them away from him and I imagine he will not have any more chair assignments the rest of this tournament.'

Farrar added, however, that the suspension 'shouldn't affect him in the future when he officiates at other tournaments, new sites, new players, new conditions.

'After investigating the circumstances, I decided no disciplinary action should be taken against the players,' Farrar said, 'but they were told that in every case the control of the match must remain with the chair umpire.'


Lendl was leading Stefanki 6-2, 3-0, 40-15 when Stefanki questioned a Lendl serve. Lendl said later he thought the ball was out.

Brambilla refused to answer Stefanki, who kept pressing for a response before beginning to serve the fifth game. Brambilla then gave Stefanki a point penalty. Lendl objected to that.

A supervisor, Thomas Karlberg of Sweden, came out to confer with the umpire. While they talked, Lendl and Stefanki resumed playing and were at deuce when Brambilla told them to start the game. They refused and Brambilla walked off the court.

'Brambilla is a good official who works all over the world,' Farrar said. 'He had a bad day. He made snap judgments. He told the players before the match he wouldn't expound on line calls, but instead of a point penalty he should have called a conduct warning which could eventually build to default of the match.'

Asked why no action was taken against the players, Farrar said, 'My investigation revealed it wasn't a players' problem. It was an officiating problem.'

Lendl went on to win 6-2, 6-0.

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