"If Novak Djokovic did this he would be disqualified": Fans slam French Open's "ridiculous decision" as Terence Atmane escapes default for hitting fan

Fans criticized officials for not defaulting Terence Atmane for hitting a frustrated shot that hit a fan at the ongoing French Open (Source: Getty Images)
Fans criticized officials for not defaulting Terence Atmane for hitting a frustrated shot that hit a fan at the ongoing French Open (Source: Getty Images)

Several fans reacted to Terence Atmane not being defaulted despite his shot hitting a spectator during his first-round match at the French Open. Many said that Novak Djokovic would not have been endured a similar fate if he was involved in a controversy like that.

Terence Atmane stirred controversy during his first-round match against Sebastian Ofner at the ongoing French Open. The 22-year-old launched a ball into the crowd, which hit a fan. However, he was not disqualified.

Atmane looked on course to progress to the second round after winning the first two sets against Ofner. However, the Austrian showed nerves of steel as he took the third set, and then went on to establish a 4-1 lead in the second set. Ultimately, it was the Austrian who emerged victorious, winning 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2, 7-5

It was during the sixth game of the third set when Atmane's frustrations boiled over. Trailing Ofner 15-30, the Frenchman wildly struck a ball that hit the leg of a woman in the crowd. The chair umpire let Atmane off with just a warning, despite Ofner's protests.

The incident has drawn widespread condemnation from fans on social media. One set of fans opined that had Novak Djokovic been at fault for doing what Atmane did, the Serb would have been disqualified straightaway.

"If Djokovic did this he would be disqualified," one fan wrote.
"Had it been Novak they wouldn’t think twice," another fan commented.
"I’m not surprised. He’s not Serbian," wrote another fan.
"What a joke! It appears that this rule only applies to Novak Djokovic!" another fan chimed in.

Another set of fans blatantly criticized the officials for not dealing with Atmane's offense more strictly.

"That clearly deserves disqualification, there should be standards that the umpire can’t overrule. That was a really uncontrolled shot with a lot of power. Could have gone much worse," wrote one fan.
"Friendly reminder that Rublev got disqualified for an alleged bad word (not for yelling) he didn’t even say but Atmane can hit a spectator and everything’s fine let’s talk about arbitrariness of the umpires," commented another fan.
"Ridiculous decision. Hitting somebody with the ball after the point finished should be an automatic DQ. This was just frustration," another fan wrote.

Novak Djokovic was disqualified from US Open 2020 for incident similar to Terence Atmane's in French Open 2024

The Serb after being defaulted by the chair umpire at the 2020 US Open
The Serb after being defaulted by the chair umpire at the 2020 US Open

Almost four years before Terence Atmane's incident at French Open 2024, Novak Djokovic accidentally hit a line judge as the 2020 US Open.

The moment of controversy came in the eleventh game of the first set. It was Djokovic's service game, but Carreno Busta broke the Serb. Frustrated, Djokovic took out a ball from his pocket and hit it angrily without even checking the direction he was hitting it in.

The ball hit line judge Laura Clark in her throat, and she immediately collapsed to the ground in shock and pain. The Serb, realizing the gravity of the mistake he had made, immediately rushed to Clark and apologized. However, the Serb was eventually defaulted by the line umpire.

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