WASHINGTON -- Wimbledon rebel Jeff Tarango took the court yesterday against 14th seed Byron Black, and Tarango did not disappoint fans who packed the grandstand at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic despite the afternoon heat.
Tarango lost to Black, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, in a hard-fought match that was not without some controversy.
Throughout the match, Tarango questioned calls. Things got heated in the third set when Tarango was down 2-3 and apparently hit a crosscourt backhand winner on the baseline. The ball was called out and Tarango erupted.
"No way," Tarango screamed to veteran chair umpire Norm Chryst.
After that, Tarango told Black, "Byron, you're a man of honor. In the press conference, please tell them how that ball was."
That remark fired up the 58th-ranked Black, who went on to win that game.
"When we had that confrontation, I got more fired up," Black, 25, said. "You've got to play by the calls. If we were playing with no linesman, I might have given him the call. But I've got to play by the rules. I was mad because he shouldn't talk to me. It's not my call."
Behind a boisterous crowd, Tarango had some fans cheering when he won points, and some heckling him when he disputed calls. One in particular yelled out when Tarango was preparing for an overhead that he eventually hit deep.
Despite the loss, Tarango, 26, said he was happy with his effort. He did admit that the ATP investigation into his allegations of umpire Bruno Rebeuh's favoritism has been wearing a bit on him. Tarango made the charges after walking out on his third-round match at Wimbledon two weeks ago and was fined $15,500.
Edberg gets easy win
Defending champion Stefan Edberg made his stadium court debut last night, easily defeating Michael Tebbutt, 6-2, 6-2, before 6,320.
Edberg's only challenge might have been a sore shoulder that has been bothering him since Wimbledon.
Despite some serving problems, Edberg found time to entertain fans with on-court antics.
Serving regularly between 98-110 mph on his first serve, Edberg served an ace that registered 187 mph on the radar gun board.
The reading was clearly a mistake and brought a chuckle from Edberg, who raised his arms up and had to take a second look at the board.
When asked by a fan about the serve afterward in the ATP's question-and-answer session, Edberg said, "I served 50 miles faster than [Greg] Rusedski [who holds the fastest recorded serve this year at 137 mph]. That was something, wasn't it?"