Steve Flink: “Djokovic Was Unlucky, But The US Open Officials Had No Other Option” - UBITENNIS
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Steve Flink: “Djokovic Was Unlucky, But The US Open Officials Had No Other Option”

The Serbian’s default loss was a watershed moment in the history of tennis. Ubaldo Scanagatta and Steve Flink break down what happened in a special reaction video, and speculate on who will be the 150th Slam champion – Medvedev, Thiem, or someone else?

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UbiTennis CEO, Ubaldo Scanagatta, organised a last-minute, impromptu chat with his friend and colleague, the Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink, to discuss the long-term impact of Novak Djokovic’s disqualification from the 2020 US Open after he unintentionally hit a lineswoman with a ball during his fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta. The tournament will now crown a new Slam champion, but will there be an asterisk next to his name? How will this episode impact Djokovic’s chase for the Grand Slam titles record? All of this is discussed in the following video:

 

VIDEO SCHEDULE

00:00 “We can only be sad about what happened, but the officials had no choice.” The sequence of events, from the squandered set points to the shoulder injury to Carreno’s break of serve: “He wasn’t even looking, he was just annoyed and careless…” 

02:30 – A few similar episodes: Pescosolido in Sydney, Henman at Wimbledon, Nalbandian at Queen’s, Shapovalov in the Davis Cup…

05:15 – “What kind of precedent would have been set, had he not been disqualified?” A comparison with the 2018 US Open final between Williams and Osaka. 

06:15 – What will Federer and Nadal be thinking? 

08:40 – Last week, Aljaz Bedene wasn’t disqualified after hitting a cameraman – can the two situations be compared? 

11:30 – Nick Kyrgios’ comment – is he right or is he just being immature? “Well, the reactions would have surely been different…” 

13:30 A new, younger Slam champion, the 150th in history. How does the draw shape up now that the Serbian is out? 

15:20 – Who’s the favourite now? Steve’s pick is Daniil Medvedev, but Ubaldo isn’t that sure – who might be the highest hurdle for the Russian? 

19:05 – The asterisk debate: what will the champion need to do to prove doubters wrong? 

20:46 – Nole’s shoulder injury – will he recover in time? “He’ll need to think about what happened and why.” 

22:00 – Will the new champion be able to win more? “Thiem definitely would, but he’s not the only one…” 

Translated by Tommaso Villa

UbiTennis’ coverage of the incident

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Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini reach the quarter finals in Madrid

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Alexander Zverev beats Dan Evans 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to reach the quarter final at the Madrid Mutua Open. Matteo Berrettini moved into the quarter final with straight-set win over Federico Delbonis

 

Evans earned an early break to take a 1-0 lead. Zverev broke twice in the second and fourth games to open up a 4-1 lead and closed out the first set 6-3 with an ace. 

Evans saved the only break point of the second set at 4-4. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Zverev got three mini-breaks to win the breaker 7-3. 

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The first set went on serve until the eighth game, when Delbonis saved the only break point. Delbonis went up a 4-1 lead, but Berrettini fought back by winning six consecutive games to take the first set 7-4. 

Berrettini went up an early break to take a 2-0 lead, but Delbonis broke straight back to draw level to 2-2, when Berrettini made two forehand unforced errors. The next games went on serve until the 10th game, when Berrettini earned the break to win the second set 6-4. 

Berrettini will face a quarter final against Christian Garin, who upset Danil Medvedev. Berrettini ties 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Garin. Garin beat Berrettini in the 2019 BMW Open final in Munich. Berrettini avenged this defeat against his South American player in Shanghai later that year. 

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Casper Ruud scored his first win over a top five player, beating this year’s Monte-Carlo champion and Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 after 1 hour and 34 minutes without facing a break point. 

 

The Norwegian player has reached his third consecutive clay-court Masters 1000 quarter final following the semifinals in Rome in 2020 and in Monte-Carlo last month. 

The first set went on serve with no break points. Ruud won the tie-break 7-4 with two mini-breaks before earning the only break in the seventh game to close out the second set 6-4. 

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Number 1 seed Ashleigh Barty beat Paula Badosa 6-4 6-3 to reach her fourth final of the 2021 season at the Madrid Mutua Open after winning three titles at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and Stuttgart.

 

The first set went on serve in the first nine games. Barty earned two break points in the 10th game with a lob and loose forehands from Badosa. Badosa saved two set points with winners, but Barty converted her third chance after a double fault from Badosa to close out the first set 6-4. 

After an early trade of breaks, Barty earned her second break after a double fault from Badosa in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. The Aussie star saved three break points in the fifth game and held serve for 4-1 with a dropshot. Barty dropped just two more points on serve to close out the second set 6-3. 

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Barty has clinched her 16th consecutive win on red clay. The Australian player avenged her recent defeat against Badosa in the quarter finals in Charleston. 

“It was important for me to get that early break back in the second set and keep my nose in front, almost force her to come up with something that was going to be a really high level to be at a high level to be able to get back into the match. I have learnt a lot about clay, without a doubt. I promise you, I am still counting down to the grass court season. It’s one of the my favourite times of the year. I think the memories and the learnings now that we are getting from the red clay has been really cool, to be able to challenge myself in different ways”, said Barty.

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