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Little-known tennis rule forces Novak Djokovic to take comical tumble over Wimbledon net leaving opponent in hysterics

NOVAK DJOKOVIC tumbled into the net while chasing a Hubert Hurkacz volley… losing the point in the process.

The reigning Wimbledon champion took on the Polish 17th seed under the Centre Court roof last night.

Novak Djokovic went flying into the net

Novak Djokovic and Hubert Hurkacz shared a laugh after the unusual point

Djokovic took the first set 8-6 in a tiebreak, winning five consecutive points after having trailed Hurkacz 6-3.

The Serbian found his 6ft 5in opponent’s serve similarly difficult to break in the second set, but he did begin to carve out opportunities.

As the clock ticked towards Wimbledon’s 11pm curfew, Djokovic was presented with three consecutive break points, with Hurkacz serving at 3-4, 0-40.

The 26-year-old rocketed down a series of first serves to get back to deuce, before Djokovic landed another break point.

This time it looked for all the world as if Djokovic had taken it, when he produced a forehand passing shot.

Hurkacz produced lightning quick reflexes, and somehow conjured the most fortunate of volleys.

It landed just over the net, before its devilish spin incredibly sent it back over onto Hurkacz’s side.

Djokovic went chasing after it, and managed to get his racquet to the ball.


Djokovic, 36, was sent flying over the net

His momentum subsequently sent him hurtling into the net, with the 36-year-old taking a tumble.

Had Djokovic not touched it, Hurkacz would have won the point anyway, as the ball would have bounced twice without reply – despite the second being on his own side of the net.

Rule 24h of tennis dictates that a player cannot strike the ball before it has gone over the net.

But as Hurkacz’s volley HAD gone over, Djokovic could have struck a winner from the former semi-finalist’s side.

Rule 24g, however, states that no part of a player’s body, kit or racquet can touch the net while a point is active – which ultimately won it for Hurkacz.

The big-server went on to cling on to his serve for 4-4, and dragged the contest into another tiebreak.

Hurkacz again led the breaker, this time 5-4, only to surrender it 8-6, just like the first.

The contest was then curtailed by the curfew enforced by Merton Council – with play having to resumed on Centre Court today with Djokovic leading 7-6, 7-6.

The point ultimately went to Hurkacz