WATCH: Djokovic Clashes With Umpire Over Controversial Moment In Indian Wells Shock Loss

WATCH: Djokovic Clashes With Umpire Over Controversial Moment In Indian Wells Shock Loss

by Erik Virostko

Novak Djokovic shockingly lost to Luca Nardi at the 2024 Indian Wells Open, and during the match, he was enraged by the decision of the umpire Greg Allensworth.

Djokovic's third-round loss to Nardi was one of the biggest upsets that he has suffered in a while, and also during the match, the things didn't go as the 36-year-old expected.

After losing the opening set 4-6, the Serbian had a perfect start into the second set, breaking his opponent's serve and leading 2-0. After that, he had a 40-30 lead and a game point on his own serve to go up 3-0.

However, his Italian opponent managed to take it to deuce and never allowed the 24-time major winner to have another game point in that game. Still, also Nardi struggled to close out the game, having five break points.

He finally converted his fifth chance, but it wasn't to Djokovic's liking as the point was somewhat controversial. With the live electronic line calling being used at the first ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the 2024 season in Indian Wells, there were no line judges involved.

Therefore, players basically lose a chance to challenge the call, as the call by the electronic line calling is the one to go by, and it was during the controversial point that Nardi expected Djokovic's serve to be called out.

The 20-year-old initially didn't want to play the ball, thinking it was out, and he reacted only last-minute, pushing the ball over the net and starting rally. That clearly distracted the Serbian, who continued playing the rally, but ultimately lost it.

Immediately after the point, Djokovic complained to the chair umpire, saying that the fact that his opponent stopped distracted him from properly playing the rally, calling for hindrance or a let call.

"He hit the ball and he stopped. Just because he stopped doesn’t mean the point stopped? What are you talking about? You saw the reaction, he stopped, he literally stopped and that’s it. It confused me completely. I stopped as well. How can you not make that judgement?"

Umpire Allensworth, however, stayed calm and couldn't be distracted from his judgment by the world no. 1. The umpire stood by his decision, which, according to the playbook, was very likely the correct one, as he explained his position.

"Just because he stands there and doesn’t continue to play – that’s not grounds for a hindrance. I understand your point but for me that’s not a hindrance."

Without the live electronic line calling, Nardi would have been forced to stop the rally by signalizing that he wanted to challenge the call, but since that wasn't the case, he couldn't have distracted Djokovic, according to the umpire.

"My point is that’s not grounds for him to lose the point. If he would have come up saying ‘out’ or pointing out or something along those lines then yes I would agree with you 100 percent, but since he didn’t do anything to actually stop the point…"


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