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The Biggest Tennis Controversies of 2020

While tennis is a wholesome sport wherein countenance is one of the top most priorities, it doesn’t mean that the players don't fall prey to the occasional controversy from time to time.

Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev
Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev

Inspite of the fact that many events were cancelled across the board due to the plague of COVID-19, a fair few mishaps occurred in the tournaments that did take place.

Novak Djokovic taps Umpire Damien Dumusois’s foot

At the final of the Australian Open 2020 against Dominic Thiem, Djokovic received consecutive time-violations for taking too long to serve. Novak lost the game and consequently, at the changeover, tapped the umpire’s foot and stated, “You made yourself famous in this match. Great job.”

Novak proceeded to address the issue in his press conference. He stated that it was a “friendly touch.”

Nick Kyrgios booed after retiring at the Mexican Open

The defending champion at Acapulco, Kyrgios retired quite unexpectedly against Ugo Humbert in the first match. Therefore, the audience in attendance was rendered furious, as they booed the Aussie. Later on, Nick revealed that he had withdrawn due to a wrist injury and “couldn’t give a f*ck” about the “disrespectful” crowd’s reaction.

Djokovic’s failed effort to kick start tennis: The Adria Tour Disaster

Countless events saw cancellation due to the rise in corona-positive cases around the globe. When Djokovic came along with other highly reputed players like Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev to announce the Adria Tour, it was seen as a positive sign. However, due to a negligent plan to safeguard the players and the public alike, this event received a massive backlash. Further, Dimitrov, Djokovic and Borna Coric were all tested positive for the virus. 

Zverev’s “isolation” which involved partying with Hundreds

After the emergence of the reports that other players who partook in the Adria Tour had contracted the virus, Sascha put out a statement declaring, “I deeply apologize to anyone that I have put at risk…I will proceed to follow self-isolating guidelines…stay safe.” However, he was seen partying just days after announcing this. 

Kyrgios thrashes “the players at the top”

Firstly, Nick fired back at Thiem, Zverev and Novak for taking the steps they did during the pandemic. “They don’t have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from,” he declared.

Secondly, the Aussie called out Dominic for defending Zverev and Djokovic as they were, according to him, “partying like potatoes.”

Djokovic forms a new association for the players, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal call him out

While the goals of the ATP council and the PTPA remain the same, the formation of the latter has attracted much debate. Federer and Nadal have called “for unity.” On the other hand, numerous players have expressed their desire to join PTPA and build it up for the men’s and women’s tour.

Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos express their anger over “forced withdrawal”

The duo had come in contact with Benoit Paire, who had tested positive for the virus. Another player, Adrian Mannarino, was allowed to continue his match inspite of being in the same shoes as the doubles team. 

Mladenovic and Babos expressed, “It’s terribly unfair all over.” They didn’t see any acceptable reason why this should have been the case. Further, Kristina stated that she “was being treated like a prisoner and wanted to regain her freedom.” 

Djokovic’s Disqualification

Line Judge, Novak Djokovic

Perhaps one of the most well-documented events of the season was Nole’s disqualification from the U.S Open. He was contesting against Pablo Carreno Busta when the Serb struck a ball out of frustration. This shot hit a line judge on the throat. Due to the strict policies revolving such situations, to everyone’s dismay, the World No.1 was disqualified. 

Daniil Medvedev fined for curt remarks 

At the semi-final of the U.S Open, the chair umpire failed to call out a fault on Medvedev’s serve. Further, the Russian assumed it was a fault and didn’t respond to Thiem’s return. This resulted in the loss of a point for Daniil and he did not suppress his anger. 

Moreover, Medvedev walked off court to speak with the organiser and stated sarcastically, “Oh, I’m sorry. I killed someone.”

Subsequently, he was fined $9,000 for his actions.

Kiki Bertens vs Sara Errani at the French Open

Kiki Bertens vs Sara Errani

Bertens emerged victorious over Errani in a tight match. Throughout the battle, the former could be seen struggling with cramps. At the conclusion, she had to be taken off the court on a wheelchair.

This did not garner any sympathy from her adversary, who stated that it was all an act. “I don’t like when somebody is ‘playing’ with me. She left the court on a chair and now she is all good eating in the restaurant, I just saw her,” Errani said. 

Laura Siegmund’s lack of sportswomanship or a bad line-call by the umpire?

Kristina Mladenovic was 5-1 up in the first set against Laura when the match turned on its head. Siegmund failed to point out that she hit a ball after it had bounced for a second time. Moreover, Kristina objected to the failed call, but was silenced. Additionally, the Frenchwoman was ousted from the tournament after she lost this bout. Many called out Laura for “lacking sportswomanship.”

Carreno Busta accuses Djokovic of “faking injuries”

Novak Djokovic vs Carreno Busta Agut

After Novak avenged his U.S Open loss against Busta, the Spaniard made some not-so-flattering comments about his opponent. Djokovic walked on the court with bandages on, yet was called out by Busta for “taking medical timeouts whenever match gets complicated.”

In addition, Carreno declared that, “it might be mental pain, rather than any real physical pain,” that Nole was suffering from. 

Federer criticised by Greta Thunberg for supporting ‘Credit Suisse’

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was called out by the young activist for backing ‘Credit Suisse.’ Further, this is one of the largest banks in Switzerland which has invested a great deal of money in fossil fuel enterprises. Hence, in response to Thunberg’s statement which led to “Roger Wake Up” protests, the Swiss reaffirmed that he takes climate change seriously. 

Also Read: Rafael Nadal snatches the title of “greatest returner” from Novak Djokovic, as per ATP stats of 2020