Watch the moment Stefanos Tsitsipas is almost DISQUALIFIED from the Australian Open after furious Greek star narrowly avoids hitting a ball kid after losing a point against Jiri Lehecka: ‘That was DANGEROUS’
Stefanos Tsitsipas was lucky to escape serious punishment after the Greek star narrowly avoided hitting a ball kid after losing his temper at the Australian Open.
After failing to reach a winner from Jiri Lehecka, the 24-year-old’s eyes lit up as the ball bounced off the back wall into his path.
Tsitsipas swung his racquet furiously at the ball and did not notice that a ball kid had begun moved in the same direction in order to collect it. The ball crashed into the wall mere centimetres from the volunteer.
Jim Courier immediately denounced Tsitsipas’s ‘dangerous’ act and said he was very fortunate not to have forfeited the match after that moment.
‘Tsitsipas just got really lucky,’ he said. ‘He swings at anger and it nearly hits the ball kid and if it does, he is shaking hands a loser in this match.
‘You cannot do that. You have to be careful. That was dangerous.’
Novak Djokovic was defaulted from the US Open in 2020 after hitting a lineswoman with a ball in frustration, and Courier said Tsitsipas would have suffered a similar fate if the ball landed a few inches to the left.
‘Linespeople are gone. Djokovic got defaulted at the US Open a few years back for swatting a ball and it hits a linesperson but there are still people on the court and if you hit them, you are automatically disqualified.’
It’s not the first time that Tsitsipas has gone close to disqualification from a tournament. At Wimbledon last year, Nick Kyrgios called for the Greek to be defaulted after he smashed a ball into the crowd.
An incandescent Kyrgios said to the umpire: ‘Default or not? If that is me you are defaulting me. He has hit a ball in the f****** crowd.
‘Are you dumb? It’s a default brother. It’s a default bro!
‘What classifies as that then? What classifies it? So you can hit a ball into the crowd, hit someone and not get defaulted? Are you dumb?
‘You can’t hit a ball into the crowd and hit someone and not get defaulted. I would like to speak to supervisors. Thanks.’
Tsitsipas received a code violation and was subsequently eliminated by Kyrgios over four sets.