WASHINGTON, September 7, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
Alexander Zverev had just sat down to his participate in his virtual press conference following his fourth-round US Open victory against over-matched Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, when everyone wanted to ask the 23-year-old German about World No. 1 Novak Djokovic‘s disqualification for unintentionally striking a ball that hit a lineswoman.
“I was 100 percent sure that I was not going to get asked this question.
“I mean, look, it’s unfortunate. He hit a ball, he hit a tennis ball. It’s very unfortunate that, you know, he hit the line judge, and especially where it hit her.
“Yeah, there is a rule in place for it. I think the supervisors and all of them are just doing their job. But, yeah, very unlucky for Novak.
“I think he’s going to be a little bit upset about it, but, yeah. He could have – if he would have hit it anywhere else, if it would have landed anywhere else, we are talking about a few inches, he would have been fine.
“So, yeah, very unlucky.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) September 6, 2020
Then, Zverev was asked if he had ever been defaulted from a tournament.
“I don’t think I have ever gotten defaulted yet in my career or in my life. No, I haven’t been in a situation like that. But as I said, it’s very unlucky, very unfortunate.”
Another reporter asked if it was anyone else but Djokovic, would the discussion by the tournament referee and supervisor lasted as long before a decision was rendered.
“The decision was made I think by the supervisors, and as I said, they are just doing their job. There is nothing much else I can say to that. I don’t know – yeah. I mean, I don’t know what to say. I’m a little bit in shock right now, to be honest.”
Finally, Zverev was asked what it meant for the rest of the US Open field, knowing there would be a new champion crowned in a week. He said:
“There’s going to be a new Grand Slam champion. That’s all I know right now. There are no past Grand Slam champions left in the draw. It’s going to be one of the young guys, I think, if you count Dominic Thiem as a young guy, as well. He obviously has a chance to win, as well.
“Now it gets interesting. Now I think is the time where it gets really interesting. Yeah. I know who is where in the draw. I know who I can play. I know who the rest of the guys can play. Yeah. We’ll see where we go from here.”
Best wishes, Lars Graff
Grand Slam and ATP supervisor Lars Graff is working his final US Open this year. He’s a former chair umpire who first worked the US Open in that role in 1987. For the past eight years, Graff has been a member of the ATP Tour’s team of supervisors. He will leave the ATP Tour at the end of the season to become the co-tournament director at the China Open in Beijing.
From one champion to another
At this year’s US Open, the U.S. Tennis Association is honoring healthcare workers from around the world by teaming them up with US Open champions to recognize all they have done in the fight against COVID-19. It’s part of the USTA’s “Champion to Champion” series.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2020
A learning experience for Iga
An exchange of praise and thanks after Victoria Azarenka beat 19-year-old Polish teen Iga Swiatek in Saturday’s third round.
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) September 6, 2020
Congrats, FAA, from Corentin
— Corentin Moutet (@moutet99) September 5, 2020
What they’re sharing on social media
Stefanos Tsitsipas / Is there anything more American than the humble hot dog?
Is there anything more American than the humble hot dog? 🇺🇸🗽🌭 pic.twitter.com/tCmChzSkHU
— Stefanos Tsitsipas (@StefTsitsipas) September 6, 2020