Was it a “disturbance”, a “terrible judgment”, or simply “a reverberation from the ceiling”?
The referee’s choice to deduct a point from Novak Djokovic for a prolonged grunt during his Wimbledon semi-final match prompted astonishment from the athlete and sports commentators.
The penalty was assigned in the second set when referee Richard Haigh ruled that the noise had disrupted Jannik Sinner.
Djokovic, a Serbian player who eventually claimed victory, vehemently questioned the referee, “What are you doing?” and suggested the decision “could have swerved the game’s trajectory”.
“I was anxious after that call, but I was able to pull myself together,” Djokovic confessed after advancing to Sunday’s final, where he aims for an eighth Wimbledon singles title, equaling the record in the men’s category.
“It’s probably the first time I’ve encountered this.”
Djokovic Powers into Wimbledon Final
Live updates from Friday’s men’s singles semi-finals
John McEnroe, an ex-Wimbledon champion, labeled it a “terrible, terrible judgment”, adding that the umpire seemed to have “sought headline attention”.
The controversial call came during the second set as Djokovic led 2-1 while serving and handed Sinner an advantage at 15-30.
Despite the Serb’s grunt following an extended backhand strike, Sinner managed to return the ball near the baseline.
Djokovic appeared bewildered before confronting the umpire over the ruling. Later in the same game, he received a timing warning but managed to regain his composure, serving successfully and securing a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory.
“He dealt with it impressively – far, far better than most players,” McEnroe commented on BBC TV.
“It would have been regrettable if that had been a game-changer.
“Terrible, terrible call. Sinner’s ball landed on the court just a foot from the baseline. How distracting could that have been?
“It’s one thing if Sinner boosts his performance, which is commendable, but not when the umpire interferes. Clearly, this umpire sought headlines. Fortunately, Novak persevered. It would have been unfortunate otherwise.”
Former British top player Tim Henman termed it as “odd”.
“You rarely see a hindrance call, maybe in doubles if there’s chatter, but in a situation like this, at a Grand Slam semi-final, it was quite surprising.”
Djokovic showed exceptional skills throughout the match as he booked his spot in a fifth consecutive Wimbledon final, where he will compete against Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev.
During his post-match press briefing, Djokovic stated, “I saw the replay. My grunt had ceased before he took the shot. So, in my opinion, the chair umpire’s call was inaccurate.
“Yet, you must accept it.”
British player Liam Broady tweeted that it was a “terrible” call.
“I’m not saying it wasn’t a disturbance but I’ve never seen a grunt deemed as one, and every player has done it at least once in a tournament,” he said.
“Extended grunts and oddly timed grunts happen ALL. THE. TIME. But they never get called out. Odd moment to address a prolonged grunt!?”
American world number nine Taylor Fritz chimed in: “I can’t comment on this specific event because I didn’t see it.
“Novak doesn’t spring to mind when I think of this rule, but I can think of some players who prolong/delay grunts significantly on big points to distract you, and umpires need to call it more.”
Mystery Swirls: The Strange Fate of Annie Börjesson on a Scottish Beach
From Chart-topping to Political Activist: The Turbulent Journey of Kanye West, also known as Ye
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Novak Djokovic Wimbledon 2023
What event caused Novak Djokovic to feel anxious during his Wimbledon 2023 semi-final?
Novak Djokovic felt anxious when the umpire deducted a point from him for a prolonged grunt during his semi-final match against Jannik Sinner. This decision was controversial and prompted Djokovic and sports commentators to express their disbelief.
Who was the umpire during Djokovic’s semi-final match at Wimbledon 2023?
The umpire during Novak Djokovic’s semi-final match at Wimbledon 2023 was Richard Haigh. He deemed that Djokovic’s extended grunt had disrupted Jannik Sinner, leading to the controversial decision to dock a point from Djokovic.
What was the outcome of the match between Djokovic and Sinner at Wimbledon 2023?
Despite the controversy, Djokovic won his semi-final match against Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon 2023. He managed to regain his composure following the point deduction and eventually won with a score of 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
Who did Djokovic potentially face in the Wimbledon 2023 final?
Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon 2023 final where he could face either Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev.
How did other players and commentators react to the point deduction against Djokovic at Wimbledon 2023?
Several players and commentators expressed their disbelief and criticism regarding the point deduction. John McEnroe, a former Wimbledon champion, called it a “terrible, terrible judgment.” Similarly, Tim Henman, a former British number one, termed it as “odd.” British player Liam Broady and American world number nine Taylor Fritz also shared their opinions on the incident.