Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many tennis events were canceled in 2020. Considering this, fans wouldn’t have expected to see too many controversies. However, that wasn’t the case as we saw many take place during the curtailed season. Here are some of them.
Tennis legend Margaret Court had made some very controversial remarks. This led to many players demanding that the Margaret Court Arena be renamed. On this topic, Novak Djokovic said, “I don’t support … what she said. I don’t think it was the right thing to say.”
During the final of the 2020 Australian Open, Novak received back-to-back time violations as he took too long to serve. After losing the game, a furious Djokovic tapped Umpire Dumusois’s leg and said, “You made yourself famous in this match. Great job.”
After many people noticed this, the Serb addressed the issue. He did not feel that he crossed a line as it was just a ‘friendly’ touch.
At the 2020 Mexican Open, defending champion Nick Kyrgios had to retire in the first round due to a wrist injury. The crowd was not happy about this, and they booed him as he walked off the court. In response to this, the Australian said, “I couldn’t give a f*ck,”
The ATP Tour was suspended for many months because of the pandemic. During this time, Novak hosted an exhibition event called the Adria Tour. Unfortunately, many players like Borna Coric got infected with the virus. The event was immediately canceled, and the Serb received a lot of criticism.
To protect the players for COVID-19, the US Open tried to create a secure bubble. However, despite this, Benoit Paire got infected with the virus and had to pull out from the event. After this, the Frenchman was furious and called the bubble ‘fake’.
There were many tight restrictions at the US Open, and Kristina Mladenovic was not happy about it. She felt like she was being treated as a ‘prisoner’ and she wanted to regain her freedom. These were some pretty controversial remarks. Hence, she received criticism from many people including former Grand Slam Champion, Andy Roddick.
At the French Open, Kiki Bertens won a tough match against Sara Errani, where she struggled with cramps. After the match, Bertens had to be taken away in a wheelchair. However, Errani claimed that it was all an act.
She said, “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.”
In her match against Laura Siegemund, Mladenovic had a set point. On that point, Laura apparently hit a ball after the second bounce. Kristina objected to it but the umpire ignored her. She went on to lose the set and even the match. Later, she called for the use of VAR in tennis.
This was probably the biggest controversy of the year, and it took place at the 2020 US Open. Djokovic, who was playing against Pablo Carreno Busta, lost his serve at 5-5 in the first set. He was furious, and in his rage, he whacked a ball that accidentally hit the line judge in the throat. She was visibly hurt and hence, the Serb was disqualified from the tournament.
Considering that the world is suffering from a pandemic, fans thought that it was irresponsible of him to play despite being sick. Thankfully, no one was in danger as the German tested negative for the coronavirus after the match.
Damir Dzumhur’s coach tested positive for COVID. Hence, the player had to leave the tournament. Since there is a possibility of a false positive, he wanted a second test to confirm. However, that was not granted, and he threatened to file a complaint against the French Open.
The chair umpire failed to call a fault on Daniil Medvedev’s serve in his match against Dominic Thiem. The Russian assumed it was called fault and didn’t take Thiem’s return seriously. He ended up losing the point, and he was furious about it. Subsequently, he started ranting at the umpires. Hence, he was fined $9,000. As you can expect, he was very upset about this.
Due to the pandemic, lower-ranked players were suffering as the Tour was suspended. To help them, a Player Relief fund was set up. However, Thiem didn’t want to contribute to it as he felt that many players were unprofessional. Seeing this, Australian star Nick Kyrgios heavily criticized him.
At the US Open, Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil called for the formation of a new association for players called the PTPA. Many players backed this, but some names like Rafael Nadal objected to it as he felt that a new association wasn’t required.
During a match at the US Open, Thiem requested a Red Bull energy drink. However, due to a sponsorship clash, the organizers denied him the same. After an argument, the drink was brought to him by a ball boy who covered the label.
Credit Suisse is one of the largest banks in Switzerland, and they had invested a lot of money in fossil fuel enterprises. Since Roger Federer endorsed them, Greta Thunberg took a dig at him. In response to this, the Swiss Maestro said that he takes the impact of Climate Change very seriously.
Seeing controversies in tennis is something that no tennis fan, or tennis player enjoys. Now that we are going into the 2021 season, hopefully, we won’t see any more controversies.