Although rare, it’s not entirely unheard of for a tennis player to be disqualified from a match – the likes of Novak Djokovic, John McEnroe and even the mild-mannered Tim Henman have all been punished for code violations with a premature end to their game.
There’s a number of different reasons a player can be disqualified – ranging from hitting a ball boy/girl with a ball (as Henman did famously at Wimbledon back in 1995) to abusing the umpire/line judge.
A comprehensive list of tennis code violations includes:
- Verbal or physical abuse of an opponent, official or spectator
- Racket smashing
- Ball abuse
- Leaving the court without permission
- Unsportsmanlike conduct
- Time violations
- Incorrect attire
Typically, a player will be given a warning first of all, before being docked a point if they continue to misbehave. The disqualification will come on the third offence, or if the umpire considers a single breach to be serious enough for an instant DQ.
The likes of John McEnroe are notorious for their on-court antics, but incredibly he was only ever disqualified once – that came in the 1990 Australian Open, where he breached the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule by abusing a line judge, smashing his racquet and showing his distaste for the umpire’s officiating.
The first player to be disqualified in the Open era was Ilie Nastase, the mercurial Romanian who became a cult favourite for his bizarre behaviour on the court. But he took it too far at the Indian Wells Masters in 1976, where his rap sheet included showing his backside to the umpire!
It’s thought that only one player has been disqualified twice: Stefan Koubek, the tempestuous Austrian, was defaulted from the French Open in 2000 for hitting a ball at a ball boy, and again seven years later at the Open de Moselle where he verbally abused a match official.
Although unofficial, it’s believed that only 22 players have been disqualified from ATP or WTA Tour singles matches, with another pair (Henman and his partner Jeremy Bates) suffering a default in a doubles contest.
So it is incredibly rare to see a DQ in tennis, and you shouldn’t really worry about it from a punting perspective when considering what to wager on, but you still need to know what happens to your bet if this rare occurrence does impact one of your selection. So, what happens to your bet if your player, or their opponent, is disqualified?
What Happens to My Bet If a Player Is Disqualified?
How your bet will be settled in the event that a player is disqualified depends upon a number of factors.
If you have bet on a player to win a tournament, and they are handed the dreaded DQ, your bet will be settled as a loser. But it’s not something that should put you off wagering on this market, given that disqualifications are so few and far between.
As far as individual match betting is concerned, typically the majority of bookies abide by the ‘has it happened yet?’ rule when a player is disqualified.
So, if you have bet on Novak Djokovic to beat Rafa Nadal in the match odds market, and Djokovic is disqualified, then all bets are void and your stake is refunded. Even if it’s the opponent that is DQ’d, your bet will still be voided.
However, any bets that have already finished will be settled as winners or losers accordingly. So, if you have bet on there to be Over 2.5 Sets and a player is disqualified in the third, your wager should be settled as a winner – the requirement for three or more sets has already been satisfied at the time of the DQ, so you might even have been paid out by the time the DQ happens.
This same rule applies to all similar markets that are completed before the disqualification occurs – total aces, first set winner, first set total games and so on. As a simple guide, if your bet has finished at the time of disqualification, it will be settled as a win or a loss.
This ‘has it happened yet?’ rule can be applied to multiple bets as well, although you should note the deviation from the norm for tennis match odds accas in the event of a DQ.
In other sports, the interrupted leg will be voided but your acca will continue, with revised odds in place based upon the selections you have left. However, some bookies will completely void accas in the event of a tennis disqualification.
Remember, this is the rarest of events in tennis – but it’s worth knowing where you stand in the event of a disqualification nonetheless.