September 22, 2023

Open Court


Canadian Phil Bester defaulted at Charlottesville Futures

Kids, the moral of the story is this: even if you’re REALLY pi**#@ed, don’t smack the ball in anger.

This result from the USTA $25,000 Futures event in Charlottesville, Va. today had people wondering what happened, so we got the straight scoop.


Per the director of the USTA Pro Circuit (also head referee at the US Open), Brian Earley:

“Philip Bester was defaulted for hitting a ball hard which bounced off a fence support, striking a line umpire in the stomach.  As in many of these situations, Mr. Bester was not intending to injure anyone, but is responsible for the result of his action.”

Tough luck, but those are the rules and it’s not something that hasn’t happened before.

Even at the French Open, eventual champ Novak Djokovic was lucky it didn’t happen to him after he bounced his racquet. Imagine if he’d hit the official. He’s come close a few other times. History would have been forever changed.

It even happened to home-country hero Tim Henman at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, Bester’s fellow Canadian Peter Polansky advanced to the quarter-finals of the same tournament today. The two, seeded No. 1, were bounced in the first round of the doubles.


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