May and David Nalbandian’s game with renowned joker Jimmy Connors in the 2003 Australian Open doubles final ended in a forfeit. So did Nalbandian’s ATP rankings run the week afterwards because of the “three-ball delay.” After the dust cleared, Nalbandian was ranked fifth. Nalbandian’s reaction to missing out on a few hundred dollars worth of singles points, he said to Reuters: “Nothing. I just asked: Why?” You have to respect Nalbandian for not being sad about it.
Hennessey isn’t a superstar anymore but he is still a legend. With new rules allowing balls to stay in play on court for longer — up to 30 seconds if all players ask for them to be considered — many legends (Mario Ancic and Monica Seles among them) are being kicked out of the Australian Open without issuing a single complaint.
Players are free to “demand” balls, which experts say “influences” the ball’s flight, but if the “request” is rejected, the court and the chair umpire lose out. This rule was created for the first time in the fourth round, and it has already resulted in five “rejected” requests.