The official result of the fourth set of Wimbledon’s Gentlemen’s third round played between Novak Djokovic and Sam Querrey on Saturday, July 2, 2016 was 7-6 in favor of Querrey. The set ended at 5:03PM London time. The question is: Did the most trusted people: Chair Umpire James Keothavong and two of his side line assistants make multiple mistakes leaving Novak Djokovic without the deserved win of the fourth set?
According to my analyses Novak Djokovic should have been pronounced the winner of the fourth set at 3:43PM London time. If my analysis is accurate, the result of the fourth set should have been 6-4 in favor of Novak Djokovic. In such a case, a set score of 2:2 would be recorded. A fifth set would be in order, before the winner of this match could be decided.
For evidence I used the live coverage of the fourth set as broadcasted on ESPN live with commentaries by Andrew Castle and Tim Henman.
At 3:40PM, before he started his serve, Djokovic had a lead of 5-4. Immediately after serving, Djokovic’s serve was called OUT by the Chair Umpire and his left line assistant. According to the ESPN reporters the Chair Umpire made a mistake. Their comment during the live broadcast was: “He (Djokovic) certainly should have challenged, because in our commentary box we have a monitor; that (ball) was outside ON THE LINE.” According to what they saw on their monitor Djokovic should have been awarded 15. The score should have been 5-4/15:0 in favor of Djokovic. Instead, the score remained 5-4/0:0. At 3:41PM, after a short play, the score changed to 5-4/0:15 adding 15 in favor of Querrey. According to my analysis, assuming that Djokovic was awarded 15 at the beginning of his serve, the score should have been 5-4/15:15. A few seconds later, still at 3:41PM, Djokovic’s return was called OUT by the Chair Umpire and his right line assistant. According to the ESPN reporters the Chair Umpire made a mistake, again. The reporter’s comment at that time was: “Tim has given our secret away, we know that that ball was IN.” The Chair Umpire recorded the score as 5-4/0:30 giving additional 15 in favor of Querrey. According to my analysis the score should have been 5-4/30:15 in favor of Djokovic. At 3:42 the Chair Umpire awarded Djokovic’s good return and changed the score to 5-4/15:30. According to my analysis the score should have been 5:4/40-15 in favor of Djokovic. Between 3:42 and 3:43 Chair Umpire rewarded Djokovic’s fast return to the right corner and announced the score of 5-4 /30:40. According to my analysis score should have been 6:4 in favor of Djokovic. If my analysis is correct, Djokovic should have been recognized as the winner of the fourth set at 3:43PM.
I believe that my analysis is accurate. Basically, with the ESPN’s reporters’ comments and available technology, I am left without a doubt that Djokovic should have won the fourth set.
How is it possible that the three most trusted people during a tennis match, the Chair Umpire and right and left line assistants made two mistakes simultaneously within three minutes time, from 3:40 to 3:43?
To avoid this in the future, I would like to suggest to all professional tennis tournaments a new rule concerning the number of challenges that players have right to call during a set. As it is, three per set, per player, is fair; what is not fair is to deduct the number of challenge calls during the set if players challenge calls are justifiable. Shouldn’t players have right to protect their good work and live performance from the first to the last second?
Photo by George Djordjevic