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By Chris Oddo | Monday, March 24, 2014

 
Dusan Lajovic

On the cusp of a breakthrough win, Dusan Lajovic's bests efforts were derailed by a bad call at the Sony Open on Monday.

Photo Source: Tennis TV

It was going to be the perfect day for Dusan Lajovic. He had Novak Djokovic cheering him on in the stands, and he was on the cusp of a Masters 1000 breakthrough. Then the lucky loser suddenly found himself out of luck.

On the cusp of holding a match point against Alexandr Dolgopolov on Grandstand today at the Sony Open, Lajovic was victimized by a horrible call took that took a golden opportunity away from him. Serving at 5-5 in the third-set tiebreaker, Lajovic hit a stinging backhand crosscourt that Dolgopolov feebly defended, but before the 23-year-old could swoop in and put away the next ball (which looked to be an easy sitter), a linesman had called the ball out.

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Umpire Fergus Murphy quickly overruled the call, which Dolgopolov then challenged out of confusion. When the replay showed the Lajovic's backhand was about six inches in, the only thing Lajovic could do was try to regroup and replay the point.

No easy task for a young player treading into uncharted waters at a Masters 1000 event, to say the least. Lajovic lost the next two points, and the match, 6-3, 0-6, 6-7(5).

A bitter ending to be sure for the World No. 89, but the news is not all bad in Lajovic's camp. In reaching the third round at Miami, the Serb has now won five tour-level matches on the season--last year he didn't manage a single victory. With a player like Novak Djokovic in his corner giving advice, Lajovic is clearly a player on the rise.


We wish we could say the same thing about the linesman who made that terrible call today on Grandstand, but we're not so sure. As the commentator aptly stated during the match, “that is a simply diabolical call.”

 

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