By now, every tennis player knows that Novak Djokovic was defaulted out of the US Open for hitting a lines person with a ball; but there is after-the-fact Debate as to whether the punishment fit the crime.
The USTA Says…
In a statement, the United States Tennis Association said: “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. Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the U.S. Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident.”
Following the Rules?
If that is the rule, why wasn’t he even given a warning for more vigorously smashing a ball to the side of the court just a few minutes earlier in the match?
Don’t get me wrong, while I really admire how The Djoker plays, I don’t like him as a person and am happy to see he didn’t “steal” this Major, while chasing the career records of the Fed and Rafa. But the ball he hit for the DQ was not hit hard… it just happened to hit the lady lines person right in the neck. I bet that if it had bounced off her shoulder, he would not have been kicked out.
It is the subjectivity of WHEN rules are enforced or not enforced that bothers me. In golf for example, I believe if a player makes any kind of error on their scorecard, they are automatically disqualified. No if’s, and’s or but’s.
And, I think a player smashing his (I think I can safely use the male pronoun here!) racquet on the court should IMMEDIATELY be given at least a point/game penalty.
What do YOU think about this issue?
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