Federer’s opponent Koepfer spits on ball mark in ugly on-court meltdown

Dominik Koepfer was deducted a point during his French open clash with Roger Federer for spitting on the court after losing a marginal call.

Koepfer, ranked 59, was bidding to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam for just the second time after previously recording his best result at Roland Garros.

It was Federer who claimed the first set on a tie break, but his German opponent kept the pressure on in the second and eventually levelled proceedings after a second tie break.

The 20-time slam champion clinched the third on yet another tie break – which was the first time he has ever been involved in a match where the first three sets required 13 games each.

Federer then moved a break ahead early in the fourth set, which is when Koepfer was deducted a point for spitting on the court in outrage at a decision from the umpire.

The 27-year-old lost his cool after a marginal line call at 30-40 which resulted in him losing serve at a vital moment in the set.

When the umpire used a mark on the court to show that he had lost the point, Koepfer strode over to Federer's side of the net and spat on it to show his frustration.

His indiscretion was immediately spotted by the umpire, who deducted him a point in the next game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Koepfer was eventually beaten in that fourth set by Federer, who finally clinched a 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 victory after a gruelling three hours and 35 minutes.

Yet despite the victory, the 39-year-old revealed afterwards that he could still pull out of the French Open to preserve himself for Wimbledon on June 28.

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"We go through these matches… we analyse them highly and look on what's next and we'll do the same tonight and tomorrow," he said.

"Because I need to decide if I keep on playing or not or is it not too much risk at this moment to keep pushing or is this just a perfect way to just take a rest."

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