Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 1/22/12

Tomas Berdych won his fourth-round match against Nicolas Almagro in four sets at the Australian Open Sunday, but he lost the fans doing it. Late in the fourth set, Almagro charged the net to retrieve a drop volley from Berdych. With very few options because he was on the run, Almagro tried to whip a ball cross court. It ended up hitting Berdych in the arm. Almagro put his hand up to indicate he was sorry, and he tried to tell Berdych the shot was unintentional. Berdych wanted no part of the apology.

Almagro won the next game but Berdych won the tie break to take the match. The victorious Czech shook hands with the chair umpire but refused to shake Almagro’s hand. The crowd, which cheered him after the win, quickly changed to boos.

Almagro said after the match he played to win the point and that he left the court with his head high.

Berdych did not back down in his post-match news conference.

“Anyone who has played tennis knows the court is pretty big and you have some space to put the ball in,” Berdych said. “This is not the way tennis is. You always have enough space to put the ball and to try not to hit the player.”

Berdych’s poor display of sportsmanship may cost him heavily. He faces two seed Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and will likely have the crowd against him.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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