French Open: Laurent Lokoli refuses to shake opponent's hand

By: Aveek Chakraborty
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Paris, May 31: The French Open saw a bit of unsportsmanlike conduct on Tuesday (May 30) after French player Laurent Lokoli refused to shake the hand of Martin Klizan after their match.

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After losing to Martin Klizan of Slovakia 7-6 (4), 6-3, 4-6, 0-6, 6-4 in the first round at Roland Garros the French wildcard entrant Lokoli refused the usual sign of sportsmanship. Instead, he went sideways and packed his bags for departure.

French Open: Laurent Lokoli refuses to shake opponent's hand

Klizan also produced a bit of bad sportsmanship himself after Lokoli double-faulted to end the match in the fifth set. The 50th ranked player screamed in celebration and stared down Lokoli.

Lokoli later told reporters that he did because of his Slovak opponent’s attitude, which the 22-year-old Frenchman defined as “disrespectful.” Lokoli also claimed that his Slovakian opponent faked injury in the intense Roland Garros clash on Tuesday, only to bounce back in the fifth set. Lokoli also questioned.

“If I did not shake hands with him, it is because there is a reason,” Lokoli said.

“He made out to be hurting his leg for two sets and then was running around like a rabbit in fifth set,” the world’s 285th-ranked player continued.

“After that, he talks to me of respect. It is just disrespectful, what he did.”

“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 later refused to comment on the controversial match and added he was suffering from injury issues for the last couple of tournaments and only agreed to come to Paris at the last minute.

“I have no comment on this. It was his decision not to shake hands so I accept that,” said Klizan.

“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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