Daniil Medvedev watches Formula 1 during Wimbledon final
Daniil Medvedev ran the risk of catastrophe at the Vienna Open this week, avoiding disqualification after inadvertently hitting a ball into a spectator’s face. Novak Djokovic fans were quick to pick up on the mishap after the Serb was thrown out of the 2020 US Open for a similar incident.
Vienna marked Medvedev’s return to action, nearly three weeks after he crashed out of the Shanghai Masters in the second round. First up was Arthur Fils, who proved no match for the Russian as Medvedev notched a convincing 6-4 6-2 win.
But the match was not without controversy. Powering towards victory in the second set, Medvedev saw a serve down the middle race past him, and as it rebounded off the backboard, he swung his racket to send the ball into a nearby spectator’s face.
The 27-year-old immediately apologised and went to check on the fan, but many deemed him fortunate as he was allowed to continue the match and book his spot in the second round.
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In the fourth round of the 2020 US Open, Djokovic looped a ball into the crowd and immediately apologised, but tournament organisers took a ruthless approach and released a statement on why the Serb had been thrown out.
“In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, 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 US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open,” it read.
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“Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US 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.”
Medvedev built on his win over Fils by battling past Grigor Dimitrov in Vienna, and he faces compatriot Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals on Friday afternoon. “I was a little bit nervous coming into the [Fils] match,” he said.
“Arthur wants this top win and he’s going to get it one day. But luckily I managed to serve well, play well, kind of work him out during the match and it worked, so I’m very happy. He’s super young, a big jump in the rankings.
“Usually when we see guys like this, sooner or later he’s going to get in the Top 10. Then the question is, does he stay there for 10 years or he just comes there and drops out? We never know, but he has big potential and hopefully he can realise it.”
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