Djokovic loses as extremely expensive favorite

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Sam Panayotovich
·1 min read
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There's no such thing as a sure thing.

Just ask anybody who bet Novak Djovokic on Sunday. Djokovic was a ridiculously high favorite in his fourth round U.S. Open tennis match against Pablo Carreno Busta. The Serbian sensation was a -5000 favorite at PointsBet Sportsbook, which implied 98 percent probability of victory.

Early in the match, Djokovic was noticeably frustrated after falling behind Carreno Busta 6-5 in the first set. He took a tennis ball out of his pocket and fired a no-look shot that struck a female line judge in the throat. After a long conversation by officials, Djokovic was disqualified.

Around the world, Carreno Busta (+1150) bettors rejoiced.

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The United States Tennis Association released the following statement:

“In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the U.S. Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 U.S. Open."

This was a crushing loss for anybody who bet Djokovic on the moneyline (-5000). Bettors would've had to lay $5,000 to win 100 bucks. Djokovic was also the odds-on favorite (-125) to win the entire tournament. The player with the next best odds was Daniil Medvedev (+600).

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PointsBet reacted quickly and refunded all tournament bets and pre-match bets on Djokovic.

There's a moral to the story here. The next time somebody tells you they've got a "lock" or a sure thing, remember this result. Even a -5000 favorite can lose.