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The cost of anger

Every time we lose our temper and have an angry outburst it is costly. Just ask Novak Djokovic. He was the top-seed at the US Open tennis tournament and was defaulted from his fourth-round match after a tennis ball he hit in anger struck a line judge.


As he walked to the sideline for a changeover, trailing 6-5 in the first set, Djokovic -- who was seeded and ranked No. 1 and an overwhelming favorite to win the championship -- angrily smacked a ball behind him. The ball flew right at the line judge, who dropped to her knees at the back of the court and reached for her neck. After a discussion of about 10 minutes involving tournament officials, Djokovic appeared to be pleading his case. But it was to no avail, Djokovic was defaulted, the tennis equivalent of an ejection. Djokovic left the tournament grounds without speaking to the media.


That is the embarrassing part of the story. Now for the costly news. The USTA said Djokovic forfeits the ranking points and $250,000 in prize money he earned in the tournament – “in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident.”


There is more. Djokovic began the day 26-0 this season and with an unbeaten run that extended to his last three matches of 2019. He had won five of the past seven Grand Slam tournaments to raise his total to 17, closing in on rivals Roger Federer, who has a men’s-record 20, and Rafael Nadal, who has 19. With reigning US Open champion Nadal, who cited concerns about traveling amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Federer, sidelined after two knee operations, not in the field, the 33-year-old Djokovic was expected to claim a fourth trophy in New York and collect the top prize of $3,000,000.


But it all came apart so suddenly Sunday, even if it appeared as though Djokovic did not intend to hit the line judge. He wasn't looking in her direction when his racket made contact with the ball, and there was concern written on his face as soon as he realized what happened.


Anger is costly. The writer of Proverbs gave us this warning. Pr 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming;

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