9-times-tennis-players-have-been-disqualified-mid-match

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru

Following Novak Djokovic's disqualification for hitting a line judge during his fourth-round match against Spanish opponent Pablo Carreno Busta, the Serbian joins a select few as being removed from a tournament.

So rare is it that Djokovic became only the ninth player to be disqualified in tennis' Open era, despite the frequency of fines and warnings.

With that in mind, we've got the other eight players to have fallen foul of severe punishment and what they actually did to be disqualified mid-match.

John McEnroe - 1990 Australian Open
Arguably tennis' most infamous bad boy, McEnroe found himself up against Sweden's Mikael Pernfors - also in the fourth round - and was removed after three code violations.

The first was for glaring at a lineswoman whom he believed had made an incorrect decision. The second was for twice throwing his racket on the ground, eventually causing the head to crack. Third, the American verbally abused the umpire Gerry Armstrong, who issued the final violation and disqualification, with support of Grand Slam chief of supervisors Ken Farr.

Tim Henman - 1995 Wimbledon
During his double's match at Wimbledon, Henman hit a volley into the net. Out of frustration, he hit a ball with force and, similarly to Djokovic, struck a ball girl on the ear. Tears followed, as did shock from the crowd.

Henman apologised and presented the girl with flowers, but only after he and his partner Jeremy Bates were disqualified.

Irina Spirlea - 1996 Palermo Open
The first female player to be disqualified from a WTA match, the Romanian was removed after she verbally abused a match official in Italy.

Spirlea was also involved in controversy the following year, when she appeared to intentionally collide with Venus Williams during a changeover in the 1997 US Open semi-finals.

Anastasia Rodionova - 2007 Cincinnati Open
Facing Angelique Kerber during the first round of the 2007 Cincinnati Open, the Russian hit a ball at fans who appeared to be cheering for Kerber.

Despite her protests, that she received no warning and had not verbally abused anyone, Rodionova was swiftly removed from the tournament.

Stefan Koubek - 2007 Metz Open
As he led the final set 4-2, Koubek looked to dispute a call made by tournament official Thomas Karlberg. But Koubek, in the process, used abusive language, which he claimed was in response to the situation.

He was disqualified regardless, and Sebastien Grosjean advanced to the next round.

During the pursuit of what would've been his 12th career title, the Argentine was disqualified from the 2012 Queen's Club final when he kicked an advertising board and injured a line judge.

Nalbandian led Marin Cilic 7-6, 3-4, but the match, and the title, were both awarded to Cilic by umpire Fergus Murphy.

After the event, Nalbandian complained of the treatment of players by the ATP, saying: "The rule book is very big and I can tell you the ATP do a lot to the players and nothing happens.

"There are a lot of rules and sometimes they don't do anything."

Denis Shapovalov - 2017 Davis Cup
Playing for Canada against Great Britain, the then 17-year-old was down to Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-4, 2-1. He hit a ball in anger, which struck umpire Arnaud Gabas in the eye.

The match was defaulted, and Shapovalov accepted responsibility for his poor conduct on the court.

"Obviously it's unacceptable behaviour from me. I just feel awful for letting my team down, for letting my country down, for acting in a way that I would never want to act."

Nick Kyrgios - 2019 Italian Open
The player who pushes McEnroe for his title of tennis' bad boy, Australian Kyrgios was given a game penalty for swearing at a judge during the second round match against Casper Ruud.

In response, Kyrgios smashed his racket onto the court, kicked a water bottle and threw a chair. Before he could be officially disqualified, he picked up his bags and left the court.

"Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today, just super unfortunate that it had to end in a default. Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe," posted Kyrgios on Instagram.

Novak Djokovic - 2020 US Open
Sunday's match saw the Serbian against Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round, as Djokovic looked to claim his 18th career Grand Slam.

After dropping his serve to trail 5-6 in the opening set, a ball hit by Djokovic out of anger struck a lineswoman.

Although the world number one rushed over to check on her, he was disqualified after a lengthy discussion with match officials.

So there you have it, tennis players can see red and can lose their cool during the heat of battle.

If anything, we're surprised a disqualification has only been handed out on nine separate occasions, especially given how many hot heads are in the sport.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Who is the worst offender ?

I think 2017 Shapovalov and 2020 Nole are equally disgusting since both players hit the ball and injured another person.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
Who is the worst offender ?

I think 2017 Shapovalov and 2020 Nole are equally disgusting since both players hit the ball and injured another person.
erm, DJ didn't injure the person (though it certainly did hurt).
have you seen Nalbandian case? completely unintentional, still.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Who is the worst offender ?

I think 2017 Shapovalov and 2020 Nole are equally disgusting since both players hit the ball and injured another person.
Shapo’s incident resulted in the umpire having to get surgery for his eye. He handled it more professionally after the incident but his burst of anger was much, much worse. A shot to the eye like that is scary.
 

TnsGuru

Professional
How about this incident? Should this have been a disqualification? Ostapenko declared it was an accident but looks a bit suspicious.
 
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r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
How about this incident? Should this have been a disqualification? Ostapenko declared it was an accident but looks a bit suspicious.
I'm sorry Jelena, I noticed your grip was a little worn. I can put some stick 'em on there for you.

 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru

Fabio would have been too mid match if the umpire understood Italian. Called her a ***** and worse things that cannot be written public.
 

Fabresque

Hall of Fame
How about this incident? Should this have been a disqualification? Ostapenko declared it was an accident but looks a bit suspicious.
She didn't hit anyone so she didn't get a DQ. The rules are extremely contradictory even to themselves.
 

bigserving

Hall of Fame
Danil Medvedev got deefed out of a challenger for saying mean things. Darren King got deefed out of a challenger. Richard Gasquet got deefed out of the US Open Jrs for hitting an umpire with a thrown racquet. Just to name a few others.
 

reaper

Legend
So the headline says 9 players have been defaulted but the OP lists only 8. The other one that I can think of is Nalbandian being disqualified at Queens for attempting to kick an advertising board, only to have his leg sail past the intended target directly into the shin of the service linesman drawing blood in the process. Can anyone think of any others...or is the total really 9?
 

dr325i

G.O.A.T.
Who is the worst offender ?

I think 2017 Shapovalov and 2020 Nole are equally disgusting since both players hit the ball and injured another person.
The ref had to go through medical procedures in Shapo’s unintentional case.
the line judge in Novak’s case was not injured or even close to the Shapo case. Both unintentional however.
The lady at the USO got scared when she got hit, not more than the guy that Serena “grabbed by the neck” or that lady that Serena verbally threatened. No DQ in either case.

PS. I do believe that Novak’s DQ is justified
 

woodrow1029

Hall of Fame
Clearly not all defaults have been listed, for example Agassi was defaulted twice in his career according to ATP scoreline data.
Yes Agassi twice,

Marcelo Rios Was defaulted from LA.

Richard Gasquet was defaulted from US Open qualifying or juniors (forget which) years ago when he was young...
 

Antonio Puente

Hall of Fame
He was disqualified for life, but I was surprised not to see Crazy Dani Koellerer on the list.

Koubek was disqualified a second time, however, for choking Crazy Dani out during changeover.
 

zipplock

Hall of Fame

Following Novak Djokovic's disqualification for hitting a line judge during his fourth-round match against Spanish opponent Pablo Carreno Busta, the Serbian joins a select few as being removed from a tournament.

So rare is it that Djokovic became only the ninth player to be disqualified in tennis' Open era, despite the frequency of fines and warnings.

With that in mind, we've got the other eight players to have fallen foul of severe punishment and what they actually did to be disqualified mid-match.

John McEnroe - 1990 Australian Open
Arguably tennis' most infamous bad boy, McEnroe found himself up against Sweden's Mikael Pernfors - also in the fourth round - and was removed after three code violations.

The first was for glaring at a lineswoman whom he believed had made an incorrect decision. The second was for twice throwing his racket on the ground, eventually causing the head to crack. Third, the American verbally abused the umpire Gerry Armstrong, who issued the final violation and disqualification, with support of Grand Slam chief of supervisors Ken Farr.

Tim Henman - 1995 Wimbledon
During his double's match at Wimbledon, Henman hit a volley into the net. Out of frustration, he hit a ball with force and, similarly to Djokovic, struck a ball girl on the ear. Tears followed, as did shock from the crowd.

Henman apologised and presented the girl with flowers, but only after he and his partner Jeremy Bates were disqualified.

Irina Spirlea - 1996 Palermo Open
The first female player to be disqualified from a WTA match, the Romanian was removed after she verbally abused a match official in Italy.

Spirlea was also involved in controversy the following year, when she appeared to intentionally collide with Venus Williams during a changeover in the 1997 US Open semi-finals.

Anastasia Rodionova - 2007 Cincinnati Open
Facing Angelique Kerber during the first round of the 2007 Cincinnati Open, the Russian hit a ball at fans who appeared to be cheering for Kerber.

Despite her protests, that she received no warning and had not verbally abused anyone, Rodionova was swiftly removed from the tournament.

Stefan Koubek - 2007 Metz Open
As he led the final set 4-2, Koubek looked to dispute a call made by tournament official Thomas Karlberg. But Koubek, in the process, used abusive language, which he claimed was in response to the situation.

He was disqualified regardless, and Sebastien Grosjean advanced to the next round.

During the pursuit of what would've been his 12th career title, the Argentine was disqualified from the 2012 Queen's Club final when he kicked an advertising board and injured a line judge.

Nalbandian led Marin Cilic 7-6, 3-4, but the match, and the title, were both awarded to Cilic by umpire Fergus Murphy.

After the event, Nalbandian complained of the treatment of players by the ATP, saying: "The rule book is very big and I can tell you the ATP do a lot to the players and nothing happens.

"There are a lot of rules and sometimes they don't do anything."

Denis Shapovalov - 2017 Davis Cup
Playing for Canada against Great Britain, the then 17-year-old was down to Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-4, 2-1. He hit a ball in anger, which struck umpire Arnaud Gabas in the eye.

The match was defaulted, and Shapovalov accepted responsibility for his poor conduct on the court.

"Obviously it's unacceptable behaviour from me. I just feel awful for letting my team down, for letting my country down, for acting in a way that I would never want to act."

Nick Kyrgios - 2019 Italian Open
The player who pushes McEnroe for his title of tennis' bad boy, Australian Kyrgios was given a game penalty for swearing at a judge during the second round match against Casper Ruud.

In response, Kyrgios smashed his racket onto the court, kicked a water bottle and threw a chair. Before he could be officially disqualified, he picked up his bags and left the court.

"Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy out there today, just super unfortunate that it had to end in a default. Sorry Roma, see you again, maybe," posted Kyrgios on Instagram.

Novak Djokovic - 2020 US Open
Sunday's match saw the Serbian against Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round, as Djokovic looked to claim his 18th career Grand Slam.

After dropping his serve to trail 5-6 in the opening set, a ball hit by Djokovic out of anger struck a lineswoman.

Although the world number one rushed over to check on her, he was disqualified after a lengthy discussion with match officials.

So there you have it, tennis players can see red and can lose their cool during the heat of battle.

If anything, we're surprised a disqualification has only been handed out on nine separate occasions, especially given how many hot heads are in the sport.
Very few DQ'D with no warning. Rarified air ...
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
So the headline says 9 players have been defaulted but the OP lists only 8. The other one that I can think of is Nalbandian being disqualified at Queens for attempting to kick an advertising board, only to have his leg sail past the intended target directly into the shin of the service linesman drawing blood in the process. Can anyone think of any others...or is the total really 9?
Nalbandian is up there, too. His name is missing in the bolded titles, but the text is here (two thirds of the text about Koubek is actually about Nalbandian, ie:

During the pursuit of what would've been his 12th career title, the Argentine was disqualified from the 2012 Queen's Club final when he kicked an advertising board and injured a line judge.

Nalbandian led Marin Cilic 7-6, 3-4, but the match, and the title, were both awarded to Cilic by umpire Fergus Murphy.

After the event, Nalbandian complained of the treatment of players by the ATP, saying: "The rule book is very big and I can tell you the ATP do a lot to the players and nothing happens.

"There are a lot of rules and sometimes they don't do anything."


The others are right, though. There have been more defaults than that in the Open Era.
 

urban

Legend
Nastase was defaulted at least 2-3 times, once at the Masters 1975 at Stockholm vs. Ashe, when he won the tournament nevertheless, and in a Flushing USO match vs. McEnroe 1980 or so, when the ref Frank Hammond lost control and a riot among the crowd broke out. And a third time, as far that i know, at the British Clay court vs. Proisy in 1973.
 
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Red Rick

Bionic Poster
I’m not sure which one is worse, to be honest.

One caused more physical damage to the victim. The other (along with his petulant reactions afterward) destroyed the player’s public image.
The difference in treatment of Shapo and Djoko has been insane.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
McEnroe disqualified only once?
:oops::rolleyes:
Hazy memory but I think the rules for penalties had recently changed and McEnroe used the defence that he didn't know- which made his tirades appear a little more premeditated. The AO saw it differently. Bye bye McEnroe.

Similar to Serena Williams in her meltdown in the USO Final v Osaka. Slightly different in that she knew the rules but argued she'd missed a previous warning.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Nastase was defaulted at least 2-3 times, once at the Masters 1975 at Stockholm vs. Ashe, when he won the tournament nevertheless, and in a Flushing USO match vs. McEnroe 1980 or so, when the ref Frank Hammond lost control and a riot among the crowd broke out. And a third time, as far that i know, at the British Clay court vs. Panatta in 1973.
The USO match vs McEnroe featured Hammond’s DQ of Nastase being rescinded and tournament referee Mike Blanchard replacing Hammond in the chair for the conclusion of the match.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
The difference in treatment of Shapo and Djoko has been insane.
Probably because one was a 16 or 17 year old kid who immediately owned up and did the press conference and profusely apologised while the world #1, 17x slam champ, 33 year old fully grown father of 2 fled the tournament, skipped his press conference and has already been scandal plagued all year for being part of a super spreader Covid event, promoting anti vaxx views and then causing disruption with the PTPA.

One was an immature kid who learned from it and fronted the press.The other is a fully grown adult, the number 1 player in the world who’s almost been defaulted for doing this twice before and didn’t even have the guts to do a press conference and took to twitter instead.
 
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merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
The difference in treatment of Shapo and Djoko has been insane.
The difference in how they reacted to the incident was worlds apart, too. Shapo acted like a petulant kid (worse that Djokovic) on court, but was the only one who acted like a responsible adult afterwards (despite only being 17 at the time). You never know, this may have an impact on how people reacted, too. ;)
 
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FD3S

Hall of Fame
For anyone that hasn't read John Feinstein's Hard Courts, Feinstein elaborates on the JMac default; while McEnroe was indeed defaulted on a third strike under the new rules because of audible profanity, Feinstein reported that according to the umpire, what Mac had said to him ("Just go **** your mother!") was bad enough that he'd have responded the exact same way even under the old rules so he'd have been getting tossed either way.
 

Big_Dangerous

Talk Tennis Guru
He was disqualified for life, but I was surprised not to see Crazy Dani Koellerer on the list.

Koubek was disqualified a second time, however, for choking Crazy Dani out during changeover.
Lol there's actually video of that too! :-D


And who could forget his classic match with JMDP at the 09 US Open:

Can't imagine having to play a guy like that that has such a flare for the dramatic. He's celebrating like he won the tournament after just hitting a passing shot, lol!

 
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urban

Legend
I looked up the Richard Evans book on Nastase, which is difficult to read, because Evans always is defending his darling Nastase. There were at least 5 incidents, when Nastase was defaulted. At the Brit hard court at Bournemouth in 1973 vs. Patrick Proisy , stiff ref Mike Gibson disqualfied him, at the US Clay 1974 he was defaulted, at the Stockholm Masters 1975 it was complicated, because originally the upset Arthur Ashe left the court, umpire Horst Klosterkemper defaulted Nastase later. Ilie was also disqualified in a Milan Grand Prix event 1978. And then was the infamous Flushing event in 1979, when he was defaulted by ref Frank Hammond, and the decision was overthrown, because the crowd went wild. And even the old Nasty was pretty wild, when as Rumanian Fed Cup captain, he offended all people and women in particular.
 
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PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Lol there's actually video of that too! :-D


And who could forget his classic match with JMDP at the 09 US Open:

Can't imagine having to play a guy like that that has such a flare for the dramatic. He's celebrating like he won the tournament after just hitting a passing shot, lol!

The second video is GREAT. Indeed "his sex is on fire".
Thanks for posting - thoroughly enjoyed with morning coffee.
:)
 

JasonZ

Professional
wasnt agassi disqualified at 1996 toronto/montreal for verbal abuse of referee? i am too lazy to google it, but my memory says he was
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
The difference in treatment of Shapo and Djoko has been insane.
Yes, I agree

You virtually calling for Shapovalov's execution for two years and now acting as Djokovic's defense attorney pro bono is indeed something to behold.

Almost as if your two very extreme, opposite emotional reactions were driven by your feelings toward the players involved.

Almost.

Almost.
 
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