Irish umpire Fergus Murphy takes charge of Wimbledon men’s final for the first time

52-year-old Dubliner felt the wrath of Novak Djokovic in 2016 after issuing him with a time violation

Fergus Murphy is in the umpire’s chair for the first time at a men’s Wimbledon singles final. The 52-year-old Dubliner is Ireland’s only professional tennis court official and part of the group who travel the world umpiring at the main events including the four Grand Slam tournaments.

Murphy, who started his umpiring around Dublin in the domestic leagues during the 1980s, eventually left a career in Dublin’s King’s Inns for one in the locker room and has been umpiring at Grand Slam level since 1995.

He is in the Centre Court chair as Novak Djokovic defends his title against the 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. Murphy has officiated at many games involving the 23-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic. Clashes with top players are not uncommon and he has had his with Djokovoc, Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios over the years.

In 2016 the then notoriously slow Djokovic was playing his third match in the indoor London Masters against David Goffin, when he received a time violation from the chair.


The Serb snapped and went for the umpire before complaining at the end of the game to nobody in particular that Murphy “had no clue about the game”. He then vented his frustration against the tournament supervisor, Tom Barnes, before resuming the play.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times