Male Tennis Player

Male Tennis Players in the U.S. Open 2020: Djokovic Gets Disqualified

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 Tennis Has Changed Over the Years

If you are wondering how tennis has evolved the years, the most straightforward idea is: with wide variations in tennis, no one player is dominating the sport.

Sure, tennis fans indulge in the prowess and experts of the super trio, namely Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. However, this is how concentrated the sport is. On the one hand, we got the three, and on the other hand, we got Serena Williams (as if saying women’s tennis is a pretty diffused territory.

How tennis has changed 

A lot of things have happened since tennis became a pro sport in 1968.

If there’s one word to describe modern tennis, that would be power. 

For one, tennis players are using racquets made from graphite composites and carbon fibres. The racquets are lighter but equally durable like wooden racquets. 

The strings, whether they are synthetic or power strings, tend to be looser and generating more spin. As such, a tennis player can hit the ball harder to make it land deep into the court. 

Forehands were Eastern grip before compared to their Western grip counterpart that is mostly used today. Even tennis schools are teaching open-stance forehands. Safe slice serves were also inexistent today than the pre-Open era. 

Tennis courts are totally different today as well. Plays are faster, reinforcing the need for speed. One has to be professional about training, for example, since consistency is also crucial in dominating the charts and records.

The style of play has also changed. It was no longer the serve-and-volley type of game that we saw before. Instead, tennis has become a baseline power game. Tennis has become a more physical sport that tests endurance and agility on the court, among others.

Tennis scoring is also radically different nowadays. A tie-breaker was introduced to quicken the pacing of the match. The players are also entitled to challenge specific calls like those in the lines. A hawkeye instant replay can be used to back either the decision or the call. 

When not playing tennis, the activities are still about the sport though. This is particularly true for diet and fitness regime. It takes a village now to tend to the needs of a tennis player. And that includes a nutritionist or dietician and trainer – both physical and mental, in addition to the actual coach. 

The last one was made possible by this change: prize money. And we are talking about huge prize winnings—hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is expected considering that the first US Open gave away $100,000 in winnings. By 2019, it was $57.2 million.

Athlete endorsements have been an additional source of income too. Federer and Djokovic once earned $25 million each in sponsorship deals in just one year.

Prizes and endorsement earnings also changed the attitude of tennis players for the best, but some for the worst. Knowing, compassionate players launched their own foundations and poured over their earnings to various causes. 

Tennis players are competitive today, nevertheless, because of both financial and non-financial rewards of playing tennis.

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How tennis has changed over the years? Can you name other changes not mentioned in the article?

Tennis Rising Stars 2019: Watch Out for These 10 Names

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Williams.

Such names are the Hall of Famers—legendary. They dominate the tennis world ‘til today. But they would eventually fade from prominence. Boris Becker even called out the young tennis players to rise up.

Assuming the mantle may not be easy but these tennis players have all the rights to be the next big stars. 

These names can make the spectators rave with excitement. And they have already started carving out their names on clay, grass, and hard surfaces.

The tennis rising stars of 2019

1) Alexander Zverev

Also called Sascha, the 21-year-old German has already defeated not just Djokovic, but also Federer. He won the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour Finals in London. He reached Grand Slam quarterfinals once as well.

2) Aryna Sabalenka

The 20-year-old Belarusian started at No. 73 and ended the year at No. 13. The match of the US Open 2018 was given to her, winning against Naomi Osaka in just three sets. She had also won the Wuhan title, weeks after playing at the Open.

3) Amanda Anisimova

Anisimova was already included in the Top 100 even before she hits her 18th birthday this August. The American player had already won the French Open (juniors division) and Orange Bowl titles in 2018.

4) Stefanos Tsitsipas

The Greek player is the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals men’s singles champion. He had already reached three ATP singles finals only to be defeated by Nadal in two of these. He was one of the strongest contenders of 2019 ATP World Tour.

5) Dominic Thiem

Thiem is one of the prominent names in the ATP World Tour. He reached the French Open final against Rafael Nadal. He has also reached the ATP Finals in London for three straight years.

6) Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov is a Canadian tennis player who had already hit records in 2018. The 2018 ATP World Tour ranked him at 23. He won the junior grand slam title at the 2016 Wimbledon and the junior doubles title at the 2017 US Open. 

7) Alex de Minaur

De Minaur reached the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, leading him to be ranked at No. 31. He had already appeared in the third round of the grand slam singles events. 

8) Nick Kyrgios 

Kyrgios is another Australian on the list, aside from de Minaur. He had already won four ATP singles titles, three of which were from 2016. Krygios had reached the quarterfinals in two grand slam singles events. One of these grand slams was the 2015 Australian Open. 

9) Maria Sakkari

Sakkari was ranked at No. 29 by the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association). In 2018, she reached the semi-finals in Istanbul. But in 2019, Sakkari won the Morrocan Open against Johanna Konta. She had also defeated the top players, Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova, in 2019.

10) Bianca Andreescu

Andreescu, who is also a Canadian, is currently ranked 22 by the WTA. Andreescu has already defeated Venus Williams. She also won the 2019 Indian Wells Masters. Martina Navratilova believes she has the potential towards becoming the next tennis superstar.

 

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