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Novak Djokovic concedes point to Radek Stepanek after challenge instead of replaying (Video)

Novak Djokovic had an impressive show of sportsmanship during his second-round match against Radek Stepanek at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

Djokovic had the advantage and was serving to go up 6-5 in the fourth set of their match. Stepanek hit a shot that clipped the baseline, and Djokovic returned it into the net. Stepanek’s shot was called out, so he requested a challenge.

The challenge showed that the ball touched the line and was therefore in, so the chair umpire wanted the two to replay the point. Stepanek thought he should get credit for the point since Djokovic’s return went into the net, but the umpire’s judgment would dictate a full replay since Djokovic’s return could theoretically have been influenced by the out call.
Novak Djokovic Radek Stepanek
Instead of replaying the point, Djokovic conceded it to Stepanek. Nole went on to win the set 7-6 in a tiebreak to capture the match.

He and Stepanek are good friends off the court and even practiced with each other a week earlier. Stepanek sent this tweet hours after losing:

Their friendship probably was a big reason why Djokovic decided to concede the point. At least he was rewarded for his good sportsmanship.

Video via Business Insider
H/T Deadspin

Alison Van Uytvanck drops F-bomb after umpire screws her with time violation

Alison Van Uytvanck serve

Belgian tennis player Alison Van Uytvanck lost to Dominika Cibulkova 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 in the second round at Wimbledon Wednesday, and a terrible penalty called by the chair umpire really hurt her chances of winning the match.

Van Uytanck was serving up 5-3 in the third set. She had just won a point to make it deuce, and the chair umpire called a time violation on her as she was preparing to serve. The umpire’s decision to call the time violation took away Van Uytvanck’s first serve and forced her to hit a second serve. She spun in a weak serve and Cibulkova pulverized the return up the line to win the point and get the advantage. Cibulkova won the next point to make it 4-5 in the third, then she held serve to make it 5-5. Cibulkova eventually won the set 8-6 to give her the match.

ESPN went to a commercial after the game ended, but when they returned, the announcers said Van Uytvanck dropped an F-bomb after losing the game. Tennis writer Chris Goldsmith says Van Uytvanck also threw her racquet:

I just can’t believe an umpire would choose to call that violation at that time in the match, especially considering that Van Uytanck was readying to serve. It’s not like she was just hanging out behind the baseline toweling off and taking her sweet time as she rested and planned out her next point. She was just about to serve when the violation was called. Just terrible timing.

Feliciano Lopez putting the moves on Caroline Wozniacki?

Caroline Wozniacki Feliciano Lopez

Caroline Wozniacki recently became single again and it looks like she already has a suitor.

According to a few reports, Spanish tennis player Feliciano Lopez has been attending some of the Danish player’s matches lately, sparking speculation that he may be romantically interested in her.

The line of conversation began at Wimbledon, where Woz was asked whether she would turn to online dating.

“I think I’m not that desperate,” Wozniacki said. “To be honest, you know, I’ll just see what happens. I’m perfectly fine being single at the moment.

“It’s pretty hard to sweep me off my feet. It would have to take someone very special. You know, you never know. I guess when you least expect it, it’s going to come.”

A reporter pointed out that Lopez was watching Woz’s first-round match at Wimbledon.

“You noticed?” she asked the reporter in response.

Then it was pointed out that Lopez has a relationship with her dad.

“He’s already making his way in through my dad? I noticed he was on the sidelines in Eastbourne. No, he’s a great guy. Playing well. This is very awkward.”

After Rory McIlroy broke up with her last month, Caroline could do much worse than coupling up with Lopez. Keep in mind that Andy Murray’s mother had (has?) a crush on him and nicknamed him “Deliciano” Lopez. He’s a pretty desirable guy.

Andy Murray saved runaway dog from traffic

Andy MurrayAndy Murray has had a lot of success on the tennis court over the past couple of years. The British star won the US Open and a gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 before taking home his first Wimbledon championship in 2013. But even with all that, Murray’s greatest recent achievement may have come without a racket in hand.

Earlier this week, Murray told BBC Radio Five Live that he recently rescued a dog that was wandering around England near a high-traffic area.

“I was driving to practice and there was a dog running along the road,” Murray explained, via The Independent. “I parked the car and got out and tried to stop the traffic because the dog was running towards the oncoming traffic. I ran into the road, stopped the traffic and I managed to get the dog onto the back seat of my car.”

Murray’s heroics didn’t stop after he coaxed the dog into his car. He says he then drove to a place around the corner where people usually walk their dogs and got to work trying to find the labradoodle’s owner.

“I called the number on the tag and amazingly my two dogs walk with that dog quite a lot,” he said. “I met the owner and she was happy I’d picked it up.

“The dog was pretty strong, I don’t think it really wanted me to grab it by the collar and put it in the car but thankfully the dog was fine and it’s all good.”

It’s all good, indeed. Take it from a dog owner who knows — nothing is more stressful than having to wonder where your dog is and if he or she is safe. Kudos to Murray for taking the time to help out.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Grigor Dimitrov believes having girlfriend Maria Sharapova at his matches helps him

Maria Sharapova Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov won his third title of the year Sunday when he beat Feliciano Lopez 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 to win the Aegon Championship.

Dimitrov’s girlfriend, Maria Sharapova, was in attendance supporting Dimitrov during the final on Sunday, and he said after the match that having her around definitely helps him.

“She’s just been unbelievable, with me throughout all the year so far and just supporting me,” he said in a press conference after the match. “The feeling is pretty mutual. I hope that’s not going to be the last tournament that she’s at. Having Maria on my side definitely adds up. There is a lot to learn from a tremendous champion like her.”

Dimitrov and Sharapova confirmed their relationship last year after they were photographed by the paparazzi in Madrid. They were rumored to be dating for months before that, so they’ve been together for over a year.

Based on their successes, it seems like the relationship has been mutually beneficial.

Dimitrov has won four tournaments in his career and, at 23, is just starting to emerge. Sharapova, 27, has won 32 WTA titles and all four grand slams. She won the French Open earlier this month for the second time in her career, giving her five total majors.

When Dimitrov says there is a lot to learn from a tremendous champion like Maria, he’s absolutely correct.

Nike has Rafael Nadal statue made from French Open clay

rafael-nadal-clay-statue

Last Sunday, Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic to claim his fifth consecutive French Open championship and ninth overall. Of the 67 matches he’s played at the French Open, Nadal has won 66 of them and he’s on a current run of 35 straight match wins.

Basically, Rafael Nadal owns the clay courts of Roland Garros, the event’s venue.

In honor of his latest triumph, Nike had a statue made of the world’s top ranked men’s singles tennis player from the surface he’s dominated during his career, clay like that found at the French Open.

Leave it to Nike to go the extra mile.

Photo: Twitter/RafaelNadal

Monica Seles marrying 72-year-old Tom Golisano

Monica-SelesFormer women’s tennis star Monica Seles officially retired in 2008, but that does not mean her bank account has stopped getting fatter. Believe it or not, Seles already had plenty of money before she got engaged to billionaire entrepreneur Tom Golisano.

Golisano, the 72-year-old founder of Paychex Inc., announced on Thursday that he and Seles are engaged to be married. Seles is only 40, but calling her a gold digger would make absolutely no sense.

Seles, a nine-time Grand Slam singles champion, made an estimated $75 million last year with successful stock investments, property holdings, endorsement deals, restaurants, a fashion line and even her own vodka. She has been dating Golisano for several years. Golisano has an estimated net worth of nearly $2 billion.

Can you say power couple? Golisano is one of a number of people who has expressed interest in buying the Buffalo Bills. Between that, his success with Paychex, and Seles’ variety of successful business ventures, we might even say Golisano and Seles are the most interesting couple in the world.