Navratilova rejects comparisons between Miyu Kato default controversy and Novak Djokovic at US Open

Thursday, 08 June 2023 at 13:03
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Martina Navratilova has come out against comparisons between Miyu Kato's default from Roland Garros recently to Djokovic's default from the US Open.
A few years ago we saw Novak Djokovic defaulted from the US Open in a match against Pablo Carreno Busta. Djokovic hit an umpire by mistake. It was a similar situation but Djokovic did hit the ball a bit more forcefully without looking and it actually hit the umpire in the throat. Now the throat area is quite sensitive to any impact which rendered the situation quite dangerous for the umpire.
Djokovic fans around the world still claim that the umpire oversold how badly she was hit but Djokovic was defaulted as a result. Martina Navratilova doesn't think it was similar to the Kato default as she didn't hit the ball hard, nor in frustration even though the ball did hit the girl in the head area leaving her in tears:
"Wasn’t the same thing and you know it. Apples and oranges. Nice try though and predictable too."


The legendary American further expressed her frustration with the way the rule was applied in that case because it couldn't have been less intentional and it didn't result in any dangerous situation. The problem was mainly because the ballgirl wasn't looking towards the ball and failed to dodge it as it was coming towards her.
The way Sorribes Tormo and Bouzkova pushed for the default also left Navratilova disappointed as she couldn't believe that they wanted to win by default. She called it disgraceful:
"This was a ridiculous reading of the rules and disgraceful for the opposition to be arguing FOR the default…that rule needs to change IMO. And a videotape would have been available for a replay as well."
The ensuing deafult also means that Kato will forfeit all her prize money earned.

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