Saturday, December 3, 2022

Frances Tiafoe left to denounce ‘lack of situational awareness’ in gripping shock from Novak Djokovic

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American star Frances tiafoe was left to regret a crucial lack of focus which led to his loss after a brilliant performance against the world No.1 Novak Djokovic.

Tiafoe, currently ranked 64th on the men’s circuit, gave Djokovic everything he could manage on center court, before the defending champion fell back to 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 ( 7-2) 6-3 win.

MORE: Security is called as Novak lashes out on Tiafoe fans

The incident took place in the fourth set with the game delicately placed after Djokovic won the all-important third in a tiebreaker.

With the scores tied at 3-3 and 30-30 on Tiafoe’s serve, the American strolled nonchalantly and secured his first serve by chair umpire Damien Dumusois.

The decision stunned Tiafoe, who had barely started her service motion when the service timer expired, as he approached Dumusois’s chair to plead his case.

“We have played a full point and we have to walk to the tunnel,” he said.

“(Djokovic) didn’t cross the middle of the line f —– g. Come on brother, come on man, what do you want from me?”

Dumusois’ decision turned out to be the straw that broke Tiafoe’s resistance, as Djokovic shattered the American, before claiming the next two games to pull out the fourth set.

Following his loss, Tiafoe admitted that the time violation invoked him “broke the game”.

“Hats off to him, but it was a terrible end to the game, for a game of such quality,” he said.

“Could I have handled this better? Yeah. It just broke me. I’m fighting the world number one, and he needs more help, you know.”

Despite Tiafoe’s calls during and after the match, American tennis legend Jim Courier put the blame squarely on the 23-year-old.

“He doesn’t even know about the clock. He tried to get out of it (but) it was silly,” Courier said on the cover of Nine.

“I love Frances, you’re not going to find a bigger Tiafoe fan than I am, but he shouldn’t have said what he said and he should have looked at the clock.

“It’s completely on him, just a lack of situational awareness.”

With an American in his rearview mirror, Djokovic will now adjust his focus to another, with a match against Taylor Fritz on the horizon.

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