Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray after controversial call swings the first set

Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray — Getty Images


Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray — Getty Images

The first meeting of the year between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic looked like it would be a dandy, but the first set ended quite abruptly after a blown call rattled Murray. 

Serving at 5-6 to force an opening set tiebreaker, Murray hit a desperate lob near the net that Djokovic looked to handle easily, but if you look a bit closer you'll see that a rule was clearly broken by the No. 2 player in the world.

Djokovic's racquet crossed the net as he put away the easy winner, a violation that the chair umpire missed, allowing Djokovic to keep the 0-15 lead. Murray didn't seem that upset initially, but after the shot was shown on the big screen at the Sony Open he started to question the call. 

Murray initially approached Djokovic about the call, with Novak admitting he hit the ball with his racquet over the net, but Damien Steiner, the chair umpire, said that the ball was actually hit on Djokovic's side, with his racquet following through over the net (which is legal). 

Watch the video below and see for yourself ... 

Murray continued with his service game, but the No. 6 ranked player was clearly rattled, losing the game at love to drop the opening set to Djokovic.

He continued with Steiner after the game was over, pleading his case to the chair umpire especially after Djokovic admitted that he made an error. 

"You’re having a laugh, man," Murray said to Steiner in the below video. "You can see it on the replay. He even said his racket was over the net. Novak said his racket was over the net. He said the racket was over the net! Over the net!!!"

The match ended with a straight set win by Djokovic, but even he admitted afterwards that the call was wrong and should have been Murray's point. 

"It might be my mistake as well," Djokovic told reporters. "I think I crossed the net with the racket and won the point. I didn’t touch the net. I really had a bad experience with that last year at French Open against Rafa (Nadal) – I touched the net and lost the point. Maybe the rule is you’re not allowed to pass on his side with the racket. I’m not sure. You tell me."

Djokovic now moves to the semifinals in Miami where he will be searching for his second straight ATP win of 2014 after his triumph at Indian Wells, but even with a victory this might be the topic of conversation to come out of the Sony Open after the championship wraps up. 

h/t for the videos Beyond the Baseline 

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