Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 8 of the 2020 US Open.

What in the absolute hell?!?

Remember two days ago when we wondered where all the upsets were, the kind of upsets that, we wrote, “absolutely blow up an entire draw”? Well, how about the upset of a 17-time Grand Slam champion? And how about if the upset didn’t come because the Serb lost three sets but, like, merely hit a line umpire in the throat in frustration with a tennis ball? This whole entire year has been completely wild, man.

After it happened near the end of the first set of his fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta, Djokovic pleaded and pleaded but to no avail: that’s right, Djokovic was disqualified from this year’s US Open. Djokovic, who was the betting accounts odds on favorite to win the event, will stay on 17 Majors until later this month when when another opportunity to add to his tally begins at Roland Garros in Paris, France.

Look, let’s not dwell too long on this. The rule is extremely clear on the matter and disqualifying the world No. 1 was undeniably the right decision. Is it kind of crazy that you could hit a ball fairly softly like this and be disqualified because it hits someone, but be absolutely fine if you hit it 10 times as hard but make sure it only hits the wall beside this same person? Yes, but whatever. The rule is  there for the safety of everyone and you have to enforce it.

On the bright side, Djokovic’s disqualification guarantees that men’s tennis will finally get a new first-time Grand Slam champion for the first time in six years. (Maybe a Canadian? Pretty please?) Fun.

Look, below is the face when you realize that you might have precipitated the advent of the new era in men’s tennis just because you pouted at getting your serve broken. Smh what the hell, Djokovic?!?

Let’s move on to the three matches to watch out for today.

Arthur Ashe Stadium: Serena Williams [3] vs Maria Sakkari [15] (12pm start)

Welp, so much for our prediction that perhaps Serena Williams shouldn’t be seen as the clear favourite in the women’s draw. It’s been absolutely smooth sailing for Williams so far on the women’s draw despite a tricky battle against Sloane Stephens but this says more about her opponent than it does Williams: there’s a reason why Stephens is a former champion at the US Open after all.

Dare we say that we are back on the Williams hype train.

Louis Armstrong Stadium: Alizé Cornet vs Tsvetana Pironkova (Second day match)

Whoever survives this match would likely be the David to Williams’s Goliath in the quarterfinals. But mostly we’re choosing to highlight how thrilled we are to see Tsvetana Pironkova, who decided to come back to the sport this year after more than three years away from tennis when she decided to start a family.

This isn’t a choice someone should have to make, but that’s a different debate altogether. Happy to have you back with us, Pironkova.

Louis Armstrong Stadium: Matteo Berrettini [6] vs Andrey Rublev [10] (Third day match)

Matteo Berrettini and Andrey Rublev are two players that absolutely no one in the world is discussing but maybe we should? After all, here are two Top 10 seeded players who have yet to lose a set as we enter the second week of this US Open.

Regardless of the winner, neither Berrettini or Rublev will be considered the favourite in the next round unless by some chance it’s Frances Tiafoe and not Daniil Medvedev who emerges victorious in their matchup.

But all we’re saying is that they’ll have a chance.

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG


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