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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