NEW YORK (WASHINGTON POST) - Things got heated on Monday night (Feb 12) during a tennis match between Donald Young and Ryan Harrison at the New York Open.
After the match, won 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) by the sixth-seeded Harrison, Young accused Harrison of making a comment “about me as a black tennis player.”
“I’m shocked and disappointed, Ryan Harrison, to hear you tell me how you really feel about me as a black tennis player,” Young tweeted after the match.
“I thought this was supposed to be an inclusive gentleman’s sport.”
Harrison denied making such comments about 45 minutes later, tweeting that Young’s accusations were “absolutely untrue.”
“Any video/audio will 100 per cent clear me and I encourage anyone with the available resources to find it,” he added.
Tennis Channel video captured by one Twitter user showed the two getting involved in an argument during a break in the first-set action.
In comments made to reporters after the match, Harrison chalked up the disagreement to the heat of the battle.
“At the end of the day, you see everybody, you like everybody and you want to be friends or friendly with everybody but everybody out here that I compete against – even the ones that I like – they’re the ones trying to take away my livelihood,” he said.
“So I’ve got to do what I can to come through and I’m just proud of myself for doing that.”
Asked for comment, a New York Open spokesman referred all questions to the ATP World Tour, which has yet to respond to a similar request.
It is not the first time Harrison has been involved in an in-match argument. At the 2015 Cincinnati Masters, Harrison and Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis had to be separated by tournament officials: During an April 2016 tournament in Georgia, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev was disqualified for making a racist comment after the umpire ruled in favour of Young during a match.
Medvedev alleged that the umpire made the call because both she and Young were black.
“I know that you are friends. I am sure of it,” Medvedev was heard saying to the umpire.
The US Tennis Association said in a statement that it disqualified him for “question(ing) the impartiality of the umpire based on her race”.