VIDEO | Novak “Hawkeye” Djokovic overrules umpire; shows sportsmanship to gift Sascha Zverev “second” first serve
Merely playing the game well doesn’t make one a great player, especially in tennis where outplaying your opponent isn't everything. Novak Djokovic showed exactly that as he picked the minute margins of Sascha Zverev’s serve with his bare eyes to overrule umpire and gift him a re-serve.
The subject of sportsman spirit was raised again in the ongoing French Open when Serena Williams was seen pressuring the media team to get her press conference done after her exit. It consequently led to Dominic Thiem’s already-started press conference being kept on hold and things got blown out of proportion after that.
While that incident had the tennis fraternity divided, what Djokovic did during his match against Zverev will have everyone rooting for him. A high-intensity quarter-final would bring back a lot of memories for the Serbian as he was eliminated from Roland Garros in back-to-back quarters in 2018 and 2017 by Marco Cecchinato and Dominic Thiem respectively.
Where anyone else would have just wanted to get over with the voodoo, the World No.1 didn’t let the pressure get over sportsmanship. Djokovic was leading 4-3 in the first set when the incident took place. Zverev’s serve was called out after the umpire was seen getting down from his chair and checking the mark on clay.
While the umpire only confirmed his call, Hawkeye replay showed the ball was 2mm on the serve line. Zverev, who was sure of his legal serve, was seen arguing with the umpire regarding it as Djokovic started his inspection. He was seen having a couple of close glances from different angles before he went on to hand Zverev another first serve. What is more admirable than his sportsmanship here is his ability to spot the molecular 2mm gap from the mark on clay.