DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet Refund Djokovic Bets After Stunning Default out of US Open

Posted on: September 7, 2020, 12:01h. 

Last updated on: September 7, 2020, 10:41h.

DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet said Sunday gamblers backing Novak Djokovic at the US Open will have select wagers refunded. That’s after the world number one shockingly defaulted out of the Grand Slam event after accidentally striking a line judge with a ball.

Novak Djokovic Disqualified
Novak Djokovic tends to a line judge he accidentally hit with a ball Sunday at the US Open. He was disqualified. (Image: Seth Wenig/AP)

The 33-year old Serbian star, winner of this year’s Australian Open, was trailing Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 6-5 in the first set when, out of frustration, he whacked a ball in the direction of a line judge. Video replay indicates Djokovic didn’t see the official when he hit the ball and that he clearly wasn’t intending to harm her. After she fell to the ground, he joined several Open staffers in rushing to her aide.

In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open,” according to a statement issued by the USTA.

In addition to any fines that could be incurred, Djokovic will forfeit the prize money he won at the event prior to Sunday’s fourth-round match and ranking points.

Joker’s Wallet Hurting, But not Bettors’

With primary rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal opting out of the US Open, the player often called “the Joker” was a prohibitive favorite to capture his 18th career Grand Slam title.

He arrived at Flushing Meadows with a 23-0 record this year, and with Federer out rehabbing a knee injury and Nadal opting to focus on the French Open, Djokovic came to Queens, NY at -125 and -135 at DraftKings and FanDuel to win the tournament. At -125, a bettor would need to wager $125 to win $100. It’s rare that a player would be so heavily favored at a Grand Slam and not priced at “plus money” to win the tournament. But those odds were testament to the Serb’s 2020 form and the potential benefits of not having to face his aforementioned Spanish and Swiss rivals.

Not surprisingly, the Serb was the biggest liability for many sportsbooks at the start of the competition. For example, roughly two-thirds of the money on to win the event wagers at PointsBet was on Djokovic. The Australian operator with a US presence in New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa took to Twitter Sunday afternoon, saying it will refund all pre-match and outright tournament bets on Djokovic.


DraftKings, FanDuel Join In

FanDuel, which is the largest online sportsbook in the US with 33 percent market share, also said it’s refunding “all straight futures and odds boosts wagers on Djokovic to win the tournament.” DraftKings, the second-largest online operator, is following suit, issuing refunds on Djokovic futures tickets.

The operator said clients that made those bets will receive credits in their accounts within the next 24 hours. FanDuel, a unit of Flutter Entertainment, offers online sports wagering in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

With Djokovic gone, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev at +200 (bet $100 to win $200) is listed as the men’s US Open at FanDuel. Busta, the beneficiary of Djokovic’s momentary lapse in judgment, is +3600.