28 Nov 2017

Maria to retire from chair umpire role

News Article

Pascal Maria (FRA)

Pascal Maria will step down from his role as a chair umpire at the end of the year to take up a new position at the Federation Francaise de Tennis.

The 44-year-old Frenchman, who was one of just 27 Gold Badge chair umpires in the world, worked his last ITF event in South Africa last week, teaching the next generation of officials at a level 2 officiating school in Stellenbosch.

Maria has been a member of the ITF and Grand Slam officiating team since 2002, chairing 14 Grand Slam singles finals, nine Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals and the men’s singles final at the 2016 Rio Olympics between Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro.

As well as last year’s Olympic final, he also umpired the famous Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in 2008, and the five-hour-53-minute epic between Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the 2012 Australian Open.

Maria, who was a member of the ITF/Grand Slam development group before becoming an ITF/Grand Slam officiating team member in 2002, will continue to work a limited number of weeks as a tournament referee around his new position as International Liaison at the FFT.

“Over the last 15 years, Pascal has performed at the highest level of officiating, earning respect from players and from all those involved in the tennis community,” said the ITF’s Head of Officiating, Soeren Friemel.

“He has proven to be a great asset to the ITF/Grand Slam Team and to officiating in general. His passion for officiating has motivated many of his colleagues, not only through his role as ITF Regional Officiating Officer in Africa, and he has inspired a younger generation of officials.

“We will miss seeing Pascal in the Chair and wish him all the very best for the future, continuing his work as a referee and in his new position at the FFT.”