Novak Djokovic at odds with Wimbledon chair umpire again after duo’s heated past
2023/07/16

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Novak Djokovic has some history with the chair umpire tasked with overseeing the only match that stands between the Serbian star and a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title: Carlos Alcaraz.

Back in 2016, Djokovic yelled at chair umpire Fergus Murphy during a heated exchange at the Tour Finals and told the now-52-year-old that "you have no clue about the game," according to the Irish Times.

ESPN reported that Murphy penalized Djokovic with a time violation in between points during the fourth set of his match against David Goffin, but Djokovic was frustrated that Murphy "didn't tell me before" and provided a warning.

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But when he was told, "That's the rule," Djokovic fired back and said, "That tells me that you have no clue about the game, you have no clue about the game."

"That's your view," Murphy said, according to ESPN, and the penalty was enforced the stretch in between points that reportedly lasted 31 seconds.

Since the exchange, the pair have overlapped at plenty of matches, according to the Irish Times.

During the Australian Open in 2023, Djokovic pleaded with Murphy to help remove a heckling fan from the match, telling Murphy that "he's not here to watch tennis" and is "drunk out of his mind," according to The Independent.

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Even to reach the Wimbledon finals, Djokovic encountered a bit of controversy with chair umpire Richard Haigh against Jannik Skinner, when he was called for hindrance after a grunt that followed his backhand return — causing Djokovic to crouch on the court and appear surprised.

"The hindrance earlier on today in the match could have changed the course of the match," Djokovic said following the match. "I felt really nervous after that call from the chair umpire, but [I] kind of managed through to regroup.

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"It was, I think, probably the first time in my career that something like this happened. It never happened to me, I don't normally have extended grunts. Maybe it was an echo from the roof or something like this. You know, I actually didn't feel I was causing any hindrance to my opponent but it was the kind of call that I have to respect."

In the final Sunday against Alcaraz, Djokovic cruised to a 6-1 victory in the first set.

But sure enough, Murphy called a time violation on Djokovic in the second set, one that the Serbia would lose en route to a five-set loss against Alcaraz that ended his streak of five consecutive Wimbledon titles.

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