ARBITENNISNESS

Go to You Tube.

Type ‘Novak hits a lineswoman’.

You will find a 2:16 minutes long clip of Nine News Australia.

Watch the lineswoman’s theatrics which should have fetched her the Razzies, but did not.

What’s clear is that Novak had intended to loft the extra ball towards the ball boy (since his serve game had ended and he had no immediate use for it), but misdirected it and ended up hitting the drama-queen instead. The lady in question had no clue whatsoever. Perhaps she had dozed off. As the tennis ball touched her, she clutched her throat and fell down as if struck by a thunderbolt. Her screams were heard in New Jersey. Novak argued, but did not succeed in explaining his position, and was defaulted from the US Open.

The tournament officials did not take the absence of intent into account. Rather they went into the match context to judge the situation. Since Novak had just been broken, he must have been angry and had taken it out on the lady. Thus the discretion that lay with the chair was wasted, since the decision rested upon false assumption and presumption.

In the clip, the news anchors emphasize that the ball had struck her hard, and that she was even rushed to a hospital because she faced some breathing difficulties. But she was definitely not injured. The expert Todd Woodbridge explained that the decision was absolutely right, and that there was no other choice with the officials but to default Novak.

Sascha Zverev is seen speaking, “If it would have landed anywhere else, we’re talking about a few inches, he would have been just fine.” If Sascha would have slammed his racket ‘a few inches’ here and there, the chair umpire might have been grievously injured. Although Sascha Zverev was defaulted from Acapulco for slamming his racquet into the chair with the intent of intimidating the umpire, he has not been effectively banned from the circuit for even a day. Serena had a point when she said that she would have been jailed if she had committed a similar transgression. Favouritism and partiality are definitely a part of the tennis ecosystem.

Nick Kyrgios, the compulsive motor mouth, jumped into choppy waters and tweeted, “Swap me for Joker’s incident ‘Accidently hitting the ball kid in the throat’. How many years would I be banned for? 5/10/20.”

But Nick has been doing this quite regularly. At the Australian Open, he slammed a dead ball into the stands, and injured a kid. Then he bought peace by handing the victim a racquet. The Australian Open authorities looked the other way, and a sure shot case of default was not booked. Which is why discretionary decision-making at this level sucks!

Unrequited, inconsistent leniency does not serve the sport well. Nick is a spoilt brat and he proved it again at Indian Wells. After the post-match hand shake with Rafa, Nick threw down his racquet with such force that it ricocheted off the floor and flew down beyond the baseline. The ball boy, in the line of fire, was thankfully alert, and ducked himself to safety. Again, no strict action was taken by the ATP against an emboldened Kyrgios, who rather accused the media of exaggerating the incident, and again bought peace by offering the potential victim a racquet.

Since Nick was not disciplined even after he hurled a projectile, Jenson Brooksby had ended up following in his footsteps. Yesterday, he thought nothing of throwing his racquet with such ferocity that it bounced, and almost hit a clueless ball boy. Brooksby hasn’t been defaulted from the Miami Masters, for the officials hid behind the technicality that the ball boy jumped aside and saved himself from getting injured. Only a dimwit would argue that he did not know that a racquet would not bounce and travel upon hitting the hard court, and might have injured someone. Many argue that Nick and Jenson have escaped being defaulted because their victims were not injured, whereas Novak’s victim was. That’s a laughable explanation. Firstly, the lineswoman was hardly injured. Secondly, why should such decisions be left to discretion? Either remove the intent clause, and make the default mandatory if the ball or racquet so much as touch any official. Or remove this anachronism and restrict punishments to monetary fines.

Accusations of favouritism and bias are regularly made against officials. Shapovalov slammed the chair for his failure to enforce time regulations upon Rafa. Medvedev lamented that he was not scheduled on the centre court until the quarter final at the Australian Open. Roger Federer always got the best of schedules and slots. Partisan crowds have become big nuisance, causing selective interruptions. There is a lot on the plate, and ATP has forgotten how to bite and chew! Without any semblance of even-handedness, perceptions of unfairness are slated to grow further.


#novakdjokovic #novak #djokovic #nick #kyrgios #nickkyrgios #australianopen #usopen #default #jensonbrooksby #acapulco #saschazverev #zverev #tennis #atp #serenawilliams #indianwells #miamimasters #bias #medvedev #shapovalov #federer #rafa #default

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