Down 5-1 in the last set to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and returning serve, hope was more or less lost for Damir Dzumhur in today’s second-round Vienna Open match. He could be forgiven for letting his effort lapse, especially after he’d limped around for much of the second set, and even more so after he’d totally flubbed the return on a body serve, blooping the ball just a few feet past the net. That’s an easy putaway. Most players in that situation would surrender, but they’d be a little less brazen about it than Dzumhur, who sulked towards the center of the court. Tsonga, meanwhile, managed to blow the forehand. Somehow this ended up biting Dzumhur in the ass.
After his error, Tsonga said something in French with the air of complaint: It’s hard to make out what exactly he was saying, but probably it had to do with his opponent’s effort level, which is actually mandated by tour rules. Dzumhur got a talking-to from the ump and proceeded to erupt. “What I did wrong? What I did wrong?” he demanded. “I cannot play how I want, eh? I have to play how you tell me.” It was a strange interaction, and at match’s end, the two players picked up the thread again, with Tsonga taking on a more consoling tone.