Hot Seat at Wimbledon: Judge, Jury and Shrink

The players make all the big money, but umpires like Sultan Gangji make the final calls

Sultan Ganji, sitting in the umpire's chair at Court 8 last week, had a small problem. Olivier Delaitre, a French tennis player of modest repute, was hammering his countryman Rodolphe Gilbert mercilessly in a first-round match. As another Gilbert forehand went beyond the chalk in the opinion of the judge on that line, Gilbert turned to Gangji and pouted, "How could that ball possibly be out?!" Gangji paused, looked beneficently down at Gilbert and said, "I don't know. It was too close for me to call."

Potential tantrum defused. Gilbert went quietly to his demise thereafter, although he did drop-kick his...

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