Rafael Nadal has placed a request not to be officiated at Roland Garros by Brazilian umpire Carlos Bernardes after the pair fell out during the Rio Open in February according to The Telegraph.
Nadal was handed two time violations by Bernardes for exceeding the designated 25-second limit between points in his game against the Italian Fabio Fognini and the Spaniard was visibly annoyed throughout the match, which he ultimately went on to lose.
The nine-time French Open champion had wanted to change his shorts after putting them on the wrong way round and went on to complain about Bernardes to the ATP. He has not been officiated by the Brazilian umpire since.
"Yes, it was my request," Nadal said when asked about not being officiated by the umpire since their encounter.
"I asked if it's possible, but nothing personal against him 100 per cent, I respect him as an umpire, I respect him as a person, and I consider him a good person."
"I am not happy with that situation, that's the first thing, because I would love to have Bernardes on the court again. It will happen, but I think for both of us it is better to have a break."
"We had some problems. For me he was not respectful enough with me in Rio de Janeiro. "That was my feeling when I put my shorts the other way."
"I think it does not show respect because I cannot play a full game with the shorts the other way," Nadal added.
As a result of this dispute Bernardes could miss out on umpiring some of the biggest matches of the tournament. After dropping to number seven in the world rankings, Nadal is seeded to face top seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals before a potential last four match-up with Britain's Andy Murray. If he reaches the final a possible match-up against his long-term rival Roger Federer could await him.
Nadal cruised through the first round at Roland Garros on Tuesday with a one hour and 50 minutes 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory over French wildcard Quentin Halys. He will now play fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in round two.
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