Laurent Lokoli snubs handshake after ‘fake injury’ row

The French wildcard claimed his opponent Martin Klizan faked injury in a French Open clash between the two, and refused to shake his hand.

Laurent Lokoli during his first-round match on Tuesday.   -  AFP


French wildcard Laurent Lokoli refused to shake the hand of Martin Klizan after claiming his Slovakian opponent had faked injury in a bitter Roland Garros clash on Tuesday. Lokoli snubbed Klizan as the 27-year-old World No. 50 offered his hand after completing a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 4-6, 0-6, 6-4 win.

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Lokoli, the World No. 285, argued that Klizan, who claimed he was suffering from a calf injury, was being disrespectful. “He made out he had a leg injury but then in the fifth set he was running around like a rabbit,” said the Corsican. “He speaks of respect but he showed none of this.”

Lokoli was also furious that Klizan loudly celebrated when he served a double fault which sent him 4-2 down in the decider. Later in his news conference, Lokoli insisted that he had refused to shake hands because he believed that Klizan should have called for medical attention if he was genuinely injured.

“I have nothing against him as a man, I always respect players on the court. You have two things there. He is a top 50 player. I play Futures and Challengers. There was no respect.”

Klizan said he suffered the injury three weeks ago and had pulled out of the Madrid, Rome and Geneva tournaments. But he refused to comment on the controversial match. “I have no comment on this. It was his decision not to shake hands so I accept that,” said Klizan, who added he only agreed to come to Paris at the last minute.

“In the fourth set, he was playing perfect tennis. I also felt a pinch in my calf. I thought I might have to retire or play a fifth set. So I just kept on fighting.”

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