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Brooksby avoids default for racket throw, advances to Miami Tennis second round

Jenson Brooksby avoided a default in his Miami opener. EPA-EFE/JOHN G MABANGLO

By Ricky Dimon

Men behaving badly has been one of the main stories in tennis so far this season.

Novak Djokovic messing up draws by not withdrawing in a timely manner despite knowing he wouldn’t be playing. Daniil Medvedev throwing temper tantrums. Alexander Zverev threatening a chair umpire. Nick Kyrgios almost hitting a ballboy with a racket.

And now Jenson Brooksby joins the club–the same one as Kyrgios, in fact.

In his first-round match against Federico Coria at the Miami Open on Thursday afternoon, Brooksby threw his racket in frustration after losing a point during the third set. It would not have been a big deal except that the racket went straight toward a ballboy at the back wall and forced him to avoid it with a move of which even Vince Vaughn in “Dodgeball” would be jealous.

Chair umpire Carlos Bernardes hit Brooksby with a point penalty for a second unsportsmanlike conduct violation, but there was no default forthcoming despite Coria’s pleas.

Brooksby ended up winning 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, after which calls for a default only grew louder on social media. As for the 21-year-old’s social media activity, he offered a quick apology via Instagram.

Jenson Brooksby offered an apology via Instagram, which was later deleted. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES

“I am truly sorry for my actions out there today,” he wrote. “I will learn from this and continue to grow on and off the court. Thanks to the fans for the support out there today! See you on Saturday!”

The post was later deleted.

Much to the chagrin of many in the tennis world, Brooksby’s Miami campaign will continue into round two. Next up for him is Nikoloz Basilashvili, who leads the head-to-head series 2-0. However, the 19th-ranked Georgian has not faced this new and improved Brooksby; their first meetings came in 2019 and their most recent one was last summer in Toronto.

Well, Brooksby’s game has improved. His behavior maybe not.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.