The umpire of Wimbledon 2019 final, Damian Steiner, opened up about his thoughts before the fifth set of the gruelling encounter between Roger Federer and Nova Djokovic.
Both Federer and Djokovic had two sets each to their name. In the final set, Djokovic prevailed over the Swiss star and successfully defended his title at the All England Club. In the process, the Serb defended two championship points and won three tie-breaks.
When Steiner was asked if he thought that Federer was going to win the match when he had an 8-7 (40-15) lead in the final set. To this, the Argentian umpire replied, “Yes, I thought so.”
He further went on to recall the match and said, “I had many nerves but I enjoyed it a lot because it could have been my last time in such an environment. Being able to see such shots is great. Being two meters away from them is a privilege. I was focused, being there for many hours was not easy.”
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Steiner looked back at his journey and also talked about the different parts of his career in tennis. He was quoted saying, “I first was a player, then a linesman and then I started umpiring in 1994-95, so I have been umpiring for 24 or 25 years”
He then added, “I am happy that after a lot of work I have reached my peak moment. I have been around for a long time, umpiring this kind of matches and interacting with this kind of players. You know what a Grand Slam final represents.”
“I have a great relationship with the people who took the decision of me umpiring this final. You never know how the match will go. I understood it would be very important at an international level and for my career. I was looking forward to starting,” concluded Steiner.
Steiner also talked about the training that the umpires receive for a correct judgement of shots. He said, “The training is on the court. You do not have a certain practice when you are not umpiring. But 200 matches a year means a lot of training”