Here’s your roundup of the five most interesting things I’m enjoying or thinking about this week.
1.) Djokovic’s Default + 4 Others
Djokovic’s shocking default from the US Open after hitting a line judge with a ball might go down as one of the most significant, but it’s far from the first. Here’s a look at five notable defaults, including a recap of Novak’s.
Opportunities abound, Stefanos Tsitsipas had six chances to close out his third-round US Open match against Borna Coric, but couldn’t seal the deal. Three match points came when Tsitsipas was serving 5-4 in the fourth at 40-0. Massive credit to Coric for hanging in there, but that’s about as painful as a loss gets.
3.) Serena’s Lefty Return
During the second set of her quarterfinal match against Tsvetana Pironkova, Serena busted out a left-hand return after she was caught leaning the wrong direction and won the point. You would have thought it was a one-and-done kind of situation, but she did it again in the third set too.
One of the many top men’s tennis players to skip the US Open, Rafael Nadal, has committed to the Italian Open. After seven months off, he’ll be chasing his 10th title in Rome. Except for Federer, who’s out due to injury, the tournament has all 19 of the top 20 players currently entered, which should make for an exciting event.
5.) Barty Won’t Defend French Title
World #1, Ash Barty, skipped the US Open due to concerns over the pandemic. Now she’s announced she won’t be competing in Europe, which includes defending her French Open title. She sighted the continued risk of COVID and her coach’s inability to travel across state borders in Australia to help her prepare as the reasons for opting out of the events in Europe.