Harriet Dart boldly offered the umpire of her match with Katie Boulter a £50,000 bet that she had in fact made a wrong line call.

Dart lost a three-hour epic to fellow Brit Boulter at the Nottingham Open, losing a final set decider 7-5. But the match will likely be more remembered for the furious exchange between Dart and umpire Kelly Rask.

During a fiercely contested rally in the second second set, after taking the first, Rask left Dart incensed after insisting a Boulter shot had not gone out. The 27-year-old strongly disagreed, going as far as to suggest the official was 'embarrassing' themselves.

"The ball is so far out, this is embarrassing, you're embarrassing yourself. You should be embarrassed," Dart only grew more furious after losing a replayed point, gesturing to where she felt the ball had landed. "It was here, no joke, everyone here knows it."

It was at that point the British number two was warned she would face a code violation if she continued. That did little to ease tension however, demanding to speak to referee Jane Harvey.

Dart continued: "I've got a reason to call the referee, because of the calling, I'd like them to watch. If we watch that back I can promise you, I would back £50,000 that ball is out, I'd shake your hand now. It's a joke how far that was out."

Boulter, who is close friends with her opponent off the court, kept her cool to win a thrilling match 6-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Speaking after defeat, Dart insisted that technology must be used across the board after disagreeing with a number of calls. “Give me a code violation or don’t, I think she was a bit embarrassed by the situation. We are all professionals here.

“I have played so many tennis matches in my career and this one was a little bit disappointing with some of the things. I think she can also reflect on that. It is really challenging.

“When there are a few calls that go against you and they are tight you then have to alter how you play because you are afraid the ball is going to be called out. I think for me today there were a lot of balls, especially ones that she overruled on some important points.

“It makes sense that we need to move to electronic line calling for everywhere, for everyone’s sakes, there’s too many disruptions, not just for me but for both of us. A few points here or there can really totally change a match.”

Boulter - now ranked 30th in the world - was just happy to stay away from the drama to seal an impressive win. "It's difficult, I know there is a lot going on, I'm trying to focus on myself and not get too involved in situations.

"That's half of tennis, keeping your cool and staying patient, I can say I am very proud of how I handled today, I stayed calm the whole time and that is really what won me the match, staying cool."

2024-06-10T20:37:19Z dg43tfdfdgfd