I had it on and was so surprised rewound to see it again. Glad to have the insight of James Blake and Daren Cahill to understand it all.
This is a rough tournament to be a number one seed. The women’s doubles top seed was taken out because one of them had been exposed to someone with COVID, and because she was staying in a different county she could not cross county lines. Now Djokovic is out because of a crazy frustration ball!
I do wonder how this would have played out with fans in the stands!
The rules are the rules when it comes to hitting a ball in anger. Of course he didn't mean it but it is what it is.
The rule says "intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court, or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences," which is an important distinction (vs. in anger). I'm sure LOTS of players have hit the ball in anger
Scenarios under the ball abuse rule from the USTA:
Deliberately hitting, throwing, or kicking a ball that is not in play that hits a person
Deliberately hitting, throwing, or kicking a ball that is not in play that leaves the playing area
Deliberately hitting, throwing, or kicking a ball that is not in play that comes close to hitting a person
Deliberately hitting, throwing, or kicking a ball that is not in play in a manner that could cause damage or harm
Some folks are trying to downplay his behavior and even Novak tried to argue that she didn't have to go to the hospital (), but the rules seem pretty clear to me.
The commentators on ESPN are slamming Novak's behavior and applauding the decision. Patrick McEnroe says he's been behaving like this for a while, but he was lucky in previous instances that he didn't hit anyone. He also said that Novak left without speaking to the press when what he should have done is publicly apologize to the linesperson and for his behavior.
They also discussed several other instances where other players, including Tim Henman and Denis Shapovalov, were defaulted under the same rule. IIRC, Henman hit a ball girl and didn't seriously injure her, but Shapovalov hit the chair umpire and fractured his eye socket In that instance, he immediately knew he'd blown it and publicly apologized and apparently forged a friendship with the umpire.
IMO, Novak's been setting himself apart in a negative way for a while, but this year, it's been pretty flagrant. First, he held that tournament where there were no real safety guidelines with respect to Covid and while NO other tournaments were being held due to the pandemic. People got the virus. Now he's trying to start his own players union, which many of the big players have refused to be a part of. Murray pointed out that this union excluded women.
This will be the first time since the 2004 French Open that Federer, Nadal or Djokovic weren't in the semis. We'll have a new US Open men's winner this year, which is a good thing, IMO.
On happier topics, did anyone see the video of Serena and her daughter? Olympia was sitting on her daddy's lap in the stands during the change over and mouthed "mama." Serena waved back really big. It was so sweet.
Love that video! Djokovic should watch it as a reminder that a player can bounce back from an ugly incident on Ashe.
It has been interesting to hear the commentators talking about this incident like it was a powder keg bound to happen. James Blake was respectful but tough on him for the moment earlier in the match where he hit another ball against the gate. When it happened Blake even commented it could result in a default if it hit the wrong spot, not realizing it was foreshadowing.
I’m glad they were tough on him for bypassing the press. Sure, no one wants to sit in front of the press after something like that. But it’s his job. Serena sat through it two years ago. As I recall, her handling that with grace, after showing grace towards Osaka in the trophy ceremony was the start of her rebuilding the fans belief in her.
Watching the Osaka - Kontaveit match and shesh, did NO ONE think to veto Osaka's shorts? That color is so bad. It messing with my TV. Everyone is having to watch this from home, so you'd think they'd consider that when choosing clothing. That color is almost doing what neon does on TV - it turns into a blob of color with no line or shadow. It's probably fine in person, but on a hi-def TV it almost hurts to look at.
That match just started and it's nearly 11:30pm. Definitely a different Saturday night at the US Open than we've ever seen before. Those crazy late night matches with the crowd going crazy are my favorite thing about the US Open.
Novak did issue an apology, but that's not the same as going right then to speak with the press. Frankly, I think he needs to take this as an opportunity to work on his attitude, which hasn't been great for a while. I think his rogue tennis tournament and attempt to start his own players union isn't winning him friends either.
Nike is definitely trying to bring back the Agassi 80s day glow this tournament! I guess they’re taking advantage of no Wimbledon this year to go nuts. There are a couple of women they’ve dressed in shorts instead of skirts. I’m curious to see if that takes off. I’m hoping not ... I prefer my skirts!
I was shocked at how lax the Covid measures were at the French Open. There seemed to be SO many people in the stands. I saw at least one player NOT put her mask on when she left the court to go down the tunnel to the locker rooms. At the US Open, I don't recall seeing any player not immediately put their mask on as soon as they walked off court after a match. I noticed a lot of linespeople and ball kids standing what felt like too close together.
Even more shocking to me was that they let Alexander Zverev play while he was coughing and had a fever!
French government guidelines state that a person with COVID-19 symptoms - a body temperature above 38°C, a cough, sore throat, headache, muscle ache, loss of smell or taste - needs to isolate for seven days and immediately make an appointment for a test.
Zverev had declined to answer when he was last tested for the coronavirus at his post-match news conference.
Happy to see a new ladies champion. The men's final? Meh. So tired of the same old, same old.