Many chair umpires would be intimidated when officiating a match involving Roger Federer, but that was not the case with Marijana Veljovic.
Veljovic had no hesitation in calling Federer for a code violation for swearing during his quarterfinals match against Tennys Sandgren at the Australian Open. Even when Federer complained, Veljovic maintained her poise and did not waiver on calling the penalty.
— Michael Gallo (@Galloots) January 28, 2020
Marijana is not HERE for your COMPLAINTS pic.twitter.com/xWRdxQVpKg
— Whitney McIntosh (@WhitneyM02) January 28, 2020
Being unafraid to call a violation on the most famous player in the sport is part of the reason why Veljovic has become so highly regarded as a chair umpire, and it’s even more impressive given her youth.
The Serbian judge is a gold-badge umpire who has officiated two grand slam finals and the Fed Cup Final.
She has talked about appreciating how tennis has given a path for females to succeed as officials, and she is active in trying to bring more female officials into the sport.
“Whether you are a girl or a guy, if you do well and they think you are good enough to do the biggest matches, it feels amazing that our sport is allowing us that,” Veljovic said in a video posted by the International Tennis Federation in November 2018. “Tennis is giving us the right opportunities. Normally we don’t have enough female officials; we have 3.5 times less female officials than males.”
Here is the video: