Casper Ruud landed in trouble after a bizarre code violation in his 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 win over Roberto Bautista Agut late last week at the Canadian Open.
The thrilling clash in Montreal took more than three hours to finish, but at the end of the first set, which Ruud lost in a tie break, he took a bathroom break.
However, rather than needing to use the amenities, the seventh-placed Norwegian just wanted a change of clothes.
However, when he returned, referee Fergus Murphy told Ruud that he had broken the rules because he did not go to the bathroom.
While it was just a warning, it was a strange scene as Ruud tried to understand the referee’s instructions.
Ruud: “What, but I used it to change my clothes?”
Murphy:: “You have to go to the bathroom too. That’s the rule.”
Ruud:: “But if I need to change my underwear, what do I do? Do it on the pitch?
Murphy: “No, no, you can do both. It’s called potty break.”
Ruud:: “But if I need a change of clothes, what do I do?”
Murphy: “Yes, I know that man, but the rule is covered by the toilet break rule. You can change your clothes but you have to go to the bathroom when you say you are going to the bathroom.
Ruud:: “But I did not say I was going to the bathroom, I said I was going to change my clothes”.
Murphy: “No, I heard that.”
Ruud:: “My socks, my underwear, my shorts, my shirt”.
Murphy: “That’s covered by the bathroom break rule.”
Ruud: “Ok, well next time I take it, I’m going to go to the bathroom, I’m just going to the toilet.”
Murphy: “You have to go to the bathroom, that’s your business. But when you don’t go I have to give you a notice so you don’t go, that’s why I’ll explain it to you”.
Ruud: “So what is it, like a $3,000 fine or something?”
Murphy: “I have no idea about that.”
Murphy then gave Ruud an official warning of unsportsmanlike conduct.
The ATP rule book states that “Unsportsmanlike conduct is defined as any player misconduct that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the success of a tournament, the ATP and/or the sport.”
Fines usually go along with code violations and the unsportsmanlike conduct violation “will subject the player to a fine of up to $20,000 for each violation”, although in this case it is unlikely to be a total of $20,000.
Commentators laughed at the situation.
“It seems a bit ridiculous that you almost have to pretend to go to the bathroom,” said one.
However, some fans pointed out that it is a 10-minute break when players are allowed “a maximum of three minutes once they have entered the bathroom” and “two minutes to change clothes in addition to the three-minute bathroom break.” “.
In Ruud’s defense, the court was far from the locker room.
After the break and warning, Ruud recovered to take the second set in another tense tie break.
But in the deciding set, both men had to head to the dressing rooms after a 69-minute interruption when thunderstorms passed over the area at 1-0 for Bautista Agut in the third.
He said the locker room time was the perfect antidote to a game that had stalled a bit while battling the Spaniard.
“Thank the weather gods,” said Ruud, who would lose to Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinals. “It was a tough battle, the first two sets, two hours and 20 minutes of good intensity.
“But I was feeling it a little bit in my legs, it was hard to find my intensity. The rain gave me time to breathe and recover some energy.”
Ruud ended a long afternoon with his fourth match point, finishing with 54 game winners and 39 unforced errors.