One of the most promising tennis tournaments that both local bookmakers and international bookmakers have been excited about is the U.S. Open. Many prominent tennis players are participating. Although two of the Big Three, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, won’t be participating, tennis fans and punters still have Novak Djokovic, or so they thought.
Shocking Disqualification of Djokovic
To many people’s shock and dismay, Djokovic, the world No. 1 male tennis player and a 17-time Grand Slam champion, was eliminated from the tennis tournament. It was because he hit a line judge in the neck with a ball. He had struck it toward the back of the court in frustration.
The line judge, Laura Clark, “was clearly hurt and Novak was angry, he hit the ball recklessly, angrily back and taking everything into consideration, there was no discretion involved,” as stated by the U.S. Open referee Soeren Friemel.
Djokovic’s actions then fell under the Grand Slam rule book’s definitions of “unsportsmanlike conduct” and “ball abuse.” In this regard, the officials had two options in the rules that they could use to punish Djokovic. It was either to warn him or to default him. They chose the latter.
“In accordance with the Grand Slam rule book, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the U.S. Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 U.S. Open,” said in a statement by the United States Tennis Association.
Djokovic Accepts the Decision
Although at the start Djokovic had asked Friemel why he could not just take a point penalty instead of being defaulted, later on, Djokovic accepted the referee’s decision. It came as quite a shock to him since he had not received a warning during the match. But the rules do allow officials the option of proceeding straight to default.
“Of course, it was very hard for me to accept right after it happened. For a couple of days, I was in shock and I was shaken by the whole thing,” the Serbian tennis player had said at a news conference.
He continued, “I felt very good about myself, my game. It was totally unexpected and very unintended but, when you hit the ball like that, you have a chance to hit somebody that is on the court. I accepted it and I had to move on. Of course, I didn’t forget about it, I don’t think I’ll ever forget about it.”
Because of his disqualification, it ended his 29-match winning streak, and sadly his bid for an 18th Grand Slam title. He only comes third amongst the famous male tennis players, Roger Federer, who has 20 and Rafael Nadal who has 19.
It might have been disappointing for some of the best bookmakers in the world to lose Djokovic in the U.S. Open, but there are still promising male tennis players that are participating in the event. Tennis fans and punters alike can still support and wager for players such as Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev.
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How Durant trade could impact NBA landscape?
The NBA barely started free agency on June 30 when fans were rocked by the news that Kevin Durant may yet again be on the move to a fourth team in his esteemed career.
After just two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, Durant has requested to be traded in a move that can stir the balance of power in the NBA.
Let’s explore the possibilities of which teams have a logical shot of winning the Durant sweepstakes and how the 6-foot-10 superstar can boost a franchise from an average contender to a possible championship-winning squad.
IRVING DECISION NOT ENOUGH TO SWAY KD?
Talks of Durant requesting a trade were not surprising to fans and sports circles. But that was when questions lingered early on whether Kyrie Irving would explore his options to move elsewhere.
But after Irving decided to opt in on his $37 million player option and fulfill his four-year deal with the Nets, Brooklyn fans felt that the All-Star guard and Durant would stay and try to lead the franchise on another deep playoff run.
The shocking announcement of Durant’s manager Rick Kleiman in his statement to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski regarding his client’s major decision puts the Nets’ management in disarray.
DURANT NO STRANGER TO SWITCHING TEAMS
This scenario is not new for Durant, who was drafted as the No.2 overall pick by the Seattle Supersonics in the 2007 NBA Draft before the franchise changed its name to the Oklahoma City Thunder the following season.
After spending nine years with the Thunder and leading the team to an NBA Finals appearance in 2012, Durant went to the Golden State Warriors for the 2016-17 season where he led the Dubs to back-to-back championships and won consecutive Finals MVPs as well.
Durant failed to steer the Warriors to a third title in an injury-riddled year in the 2018-19 season that led to a transfer to the Brooklyn Nets the following season. But he only got to play for Brooklyn in the 2020-21 season after spending a year recovering from an injury.
MAD CHASE FOR DURANT BEGINS
It’s a no-brainer that any team with cap space or trade assets in their roster would line up to check their chances of landing Durant, a two-time NBA champion who also made it among the NBA 75th Anniversary team.
Multiple reports said Durant prefers the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, or the Philadelphia 76ers as possible landing spots for his fourth team in his 14-year career.
With four years and nearly $200 million left on his current deal with the Nets, it would need a lot of expiring contracts, future draft picks, and cash for any other team to snatch the 33-year-old future Hall of Famer away from Brooklyn.
WILL KD STAY EAST OR MAKE WEST RETURN?
Fans are also intrigued as to which conference will be more crowded in the chase to the title depending on Durant’s latest move.
A bid to stay in the Eastern Conference means Durant could provide more firepower to already established teams like the Heat and the 76ers or be the alpha on the Knicks squad but with a bigger market.
But a return to the Western Conference after his earlier stints with the Thunder and the Warriors could mean Durant joining forces with LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the Lakers, or making the Suns, Mavericks, and Clippers elite contenders capable of dethroning the Dubs next season.
How De Jong can boost Man Utd’s midfield line?
The only way for Manchester United to remain among the elite teams in the English Premier League (EPL) is to constantly look for players who will be a good fit to their roster amid a cloud of strong opposition from the rest of the field.
The announcement of the Red Devils to agree with Barcelona to pay an initial €65 million upfront to pay Frenkie De Jong is a timely move given the La Liga squad’s eagerness to move the Dutch star midfielder, multiple reports have quoted sources as saying.
While no final deal has been officially announced, what can this move mean to Man Utd? Let’s explore the possibilities on how the 5-foot-11 Gorinchem native can make an immediate impact for manager Erik Ten Hag’s squad.
DE JONG TO COVER MULTIPLE DEPARTURES
The looming arrival of De Jong at Old Trafford comes with an immediate sense of urgency for the Red Devils, who are preparing to boost their midfield line following the departures of Paul Pogba and Nemanha Matic at the end of the season.
The decision of Matic to join Roma on a free transfer and Pogba to play for juventus created a big hole to fill for Ten Hagg, who has been longing to acquire De Jong to his team.
The familiarity dynamic is also in play here, as Ten Hag is no stranger to De Jong due to their previous partnership at Ajax.
The affable manager’s chemistry with De Jong means that it’s only a matter of time to integrate the Dutch footballer to Man Utd’s scheme of things as they brace for their return to the field in August.
FINAL DETAILS STILL BEING WORKED OUT
While the decision of Man Utd and Barcelona to agree on a deal for De Jong, there are still several details to be ironed out before making it official.
The total package for De Jong is unlikely to reach €100 million but both Man Utd and Barca are committed to work on the final figures of the agreement in terms of fixed fee and add-ons that will benefit De Jong.
Barca, which signed De Jong to €75 million after his stint from Ajax in 2019 along with €11 million in potential add-ons, will rely on the sale of 10% of their La Liga television rights to avoid gaining losses before the end of the year amid De Jong’s looming exit.
RED DEVILS NOT DONE AFTER DE JONG’S ARRIVAL
Make no mistake that Man Utd will settle for De Jong to boost their midfield line, as the club is looking for a couple more key pieces to add to their roster.
Aside from De Jong, the Red Devils are looking at Brazilian winger Antony as a versatile forward who can play multiple positions. But the decision of Ajax to put up an €80-million valuation might stall Man Utd’s plans.
Another player Man Utd is checking out is midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has a pending offer from Brentford after playing with the squad during the second half of last season, sources told ESPN.
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