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Novak Djokovic penalized for ‘hindrance’ due to extended grunt in Wimbledon semifinals

A grunt costs Novak Djokovic a point against Jannik Sinner.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia stretches to play a backhand against Jannik Sinner of Italy in the Men’s Singles Semi Finals on day twelve of The Championships Wimbledon 2023 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2023 in London, England. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Four-time defending Wimbledon champ and current #2 seed Novak Djokovic is rolling over #8 seed Jannik Sinner in the Wimbledon semifinals, but he ran into a minor hiccup along the way. Djokovic was called for hindrance on a play and lost a point to Sinner.

Tennis rules prevent a player from behaving in any manner they want, and this applies often to the grunting we hear. A player is allowed to grunt, given the difficulty of the game, but they cannot grunt so much that it interferes with their opponent’s ability to execute.

Hindrance can apply to a variety of behaviors, but in this case, the umpire decided Djokovic’s grunt carried on too long into Sinner’s attempt to return a shot. It cost Djokovic a point and dropped him down 30-15 in the game. He ended up winning the game and currently leads 6-3, 4-3 in their semifinal match.