Did Milos Raonic Cheat His Way To A Win Over Juan Martin Del Potro? [Video]
by Staff | August 8th, 2013, 11:08 pm

Milos Raonic was a winner this evening over Juan Martin Del Potro in Montreal, but the Canadian star may have lost more fans and respect than he gained in his 7-5, 6-4 controversial victory. That’s for sure.

It was a much-anticipated match between the hot Washington winner Del Potro and the rising star Raonic who was looking to make a big breakthrough on his home soil. But injuries got in the way. Del Potro’s late finish last night left his back in distress while Raonic used a 12-minute MTO early in the affair to tend to an arm ailment.

The key moment in the match – and one that will be talked about for many moons – came late in the second set with Del Potro serving up a break at 4-3, deuce. In an effort to finish off a short ball from Del Potro, Roanic’s momentum took his left foot into the net. Chair umpire Mohammed Layhani somehow missed the violation awarding the point to Raonic. An upset Del Potro didn’t.

On replay, showed on the big screen to the entire crowd, Raonic clearly touched the net with his left foot and his facial expression indicated as much. But the 22-year-old didn’t follow the honor code and when Layhani gave him the point he took it and kept quiet.

And Raonic didn’t lose another point after breaking Del Potro then closing out the sarcastically smiling Argentine winning the next two games.

According to a series of tweets from match announcer Robbie Koenig, Raonic said he was lucky to not get the call from the umpire.

“I was fortunate that line judge didn’t see it. It’s a lucky thing for me in my sense, unlucky for him…

“Something that can go really both ways. It’s sort of the exact same thing as having no challenges left and you get a bad line call..

“It’s like a bad luck thing. It was hard to sort of be able to take this point on such a big point.”

Except Raonic, who comes from a high-IQ family, chose to take the point instead of displaying honesty and sportsmanship in front of his home crowd. Raonic knew he hit the net, everyone saw it except Layhani. But he kept quiet – it’s up to the umpire to make the right call, he argued.

What an absolute missed opportunity for the 22-year-old to set the example.

A disconsolate Del Potro offered this response on twitter, “Very upset after the match I lost. About the end… I think everybody saw what happened. Thanks for your support.”

You hear announcer Sam Gore in the video declare at the end it was a “great day for Canadian tennis”, which it was with Vasek Pospisil winning, but was it a great day for Milos Raonic?

Q. DelPo was upset in the second set, felt you touched the net. What was your view of that point?
MILOS RAONIC: I was fortunate that the line judge didn’t see it. It’s a lucky thing for me in my sense, unlucky for him. Something that can go really both ways.
It’s sort of the exact same thing as having no challenges left and you get a bad line call. It’s like a bad‑luck thing. It was hard to sort of be able to take this point on such a big point.

Q. He seemed to think you should have called it on yourself.
MILOS RAONIC: It’s a big point. I don’t know. If you can put somebody in the situation being down breakpoint, same thing happens, do you call it on yourself?

Q. But it was his point.
MILOS RAONIC: Hypothetically yes. Technically no.

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90 Comments for Did Milos Raonic Cheat His Way To A Win Over Juan Martin Del Potro? [Video]

Tennis Vagabond Says:

He didn;t cheat. In my opinion, this is poor sportsmanship. I can’t imagine any of the top four doing this.
On the other hand, this was not the point of the match. It was not even a game point. It was… a point. Raonic won the next point. Then the next several games. So even had Del Potro won that point (which would have not been his, but a repeat), he had a long way to go just to tie the match.
So lets not get carried away. Poor sportsmanship. Not altering history’s course.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

It sounds like no one asked him why he didn’t own up in the presser- wonder why not?

M Says:

I didn’t see the match. But I would be very interested to see the rules to find out if the player has the obligation to let the umpire know if he missed it.

“It’s the umpire’s obligation to see it”, under circumstances where everybody, including the player in question, saw it *except* the ump … well, that’s some creative and opportunistic Improvisation on the Rules on the spot, at best.

At worst? Sounds cheater-ish to me. Though I had previously admired some things about him, Milos always did strike me as more than a little on the opportunistic side.

M Says:

Oh – and whether or not it was the point of the match is, imo, irrelevant to the question of what should have happened on that point. For one thing, we don’t know if it was a critical point or not. But – not to pun the thing to death – that’s not the point.

Milos had more than one opportunity, actually. He had the opportunity to dance on the line of the rules to do everything he could to win. However, he was also presented with the opportunity to look like the more gracious host on a comparatively big stage – at home, no less – during what as a result would have turned out to be a rather cinematic and reputation-making moment.

He chose the former, though, and certainly still made a reputation for himself, though it may not turn out to be quite what he’d hoped.

(Not to speak of which, if he gets knocked out in the next round, he’ll have won the battle and lost the war, with a tasty side order of schadenfreude for Del Potro fans.)

Dorys Says:

I did not watch de game, but according to the article it is judge call to say something and to give points not Raonic’s. He did not cheat he was focus playing and doing his game. Congrats Raonic, you are in the right way to be one of the best this year!!

Lucy Says:

Milos did not cheat in my opinion, because I think the net rule its pretty stupid, the point was over already, there was no way Delpo would had got to do something, so for me and for everyone who is not biased, MILOS DID NOT CHEAT

Michael Says:

Certainly it was not good gamesmanship on the part of Raonic. He touched the net and pretended that he did not fall over it. But I thought the Umpire should have called the Hawk eye to sort this out. Del Potro was naturally aggrieved as he was robbed off his game and the mistake by the Umpire proved to be very costly in the end.

Sean Randall Says:

I voted “Yes”, here’s why.

First, Raonic was not under any hard rule to tell the chair umpire that he touched the net. That’s the umpire’s job and he missed it. The umpire calls the scores, makes the final verdict. In this case Mohammed called the point in favor of Raonic. (though maybe a linesman could have come over and told him what happened.)

But in this case, unlike line calls or time violations or cuss words that go missed, this does fall on the players. Like marks on the clay (sometimes), in this case Raonic should rise above and respect the “honor system”.

When I play tennis with my friends and I touch the net, I call it on myself. It’s just instinctive and for most in the lower rungs of the sport (juniors, high school, college) that’s how it is.

Sure, cheating goes in sports like boxing (low blows) and football (both American and European) but isn’t tennis suppose to be above that? The prime example of sportsmanship? Well, it wasn’t tonight.

Remember when Roddick gave the point to Verdasco many years ago (http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2005-05-06/d.php)? It’s amazing that Andy’s still reaping the rewards from that “goodwill” gesture, and really it was hardly one at all since he reversed a call that would have been reversed anyway since it was on clay. Well, this was Raonic’s “goodwill” chance and honestly, he blew it.

Imagine had Milos reversed the call and still won the match. His star in Canada would be shining that much brighter, that much higher than it is.

And with the way Del Potro was lumbering around, I feel Milos would have won that match anyway. But I think the moment just got the best of him.

He is just 22 and playing one of the biggest matches of his career. And I think he expected Mohammed to give the point to Del Potro. When he didn’t, I think he just went with it, maybe not fully knowing what to do once the score was called.

So I’ll cut him a little slack. But he knows he got away with one there, that’s why I say he’s a cheated in this case.

Unfortunately, this is probably going to haunt him for quite some time and he’ll lose some cred in the locker room as well the general public and fans. Which is too bad since he has so much potential and he seems to be such a smart, composed, likable kid.

Then again maybe this will give him a much-needed “mean streak” and launch him to greater successes.

So if I had to guess, I think that eventually, maybe even later tonight, he’ll regret not telling the umpire what happened. Regardless, damage has been done tonight.

R McDonough Says:

Not a direct cheat but a gentleman he is not. His failure to be decent should lose him respect.

Brando Says:

He knew he was in fault. Everyone in the crowd did also. And he kept silent. I bet he definitely thought: “Milos my old son: that was Delpo’s point, but the umpire doesn’t know it. Stay silent: you are getting away with it!” To me that’s not cheating per se. But he definitely knew what he was doing and absolutely showed rubbish sportsmanship. He knew it was Delpo’s point. He knew he should tell the umpire. But he stayed silent since he knew he was getting away with it. And he did. Very bad move.

Michael Says:

Mohammed is one of the worst umpires in my opinion. But the biggest surprise is that he is officiating most of the big matches.

chris Says:

Raonic is pathetic! What a poor sport. He shouldve blown hid whole knee out months ago. Boo to cheaters.

Margaret Says:

Yes, Raonic should have called it on himself. All tennis players, no matter what level, know the rule about fessing up when you touch the net. Same thing when the ball hits you and no one sees it or hears it. It is up to you to call it on yourself. Those that don’t get a reputation, and it is not a good one. Whether ths incident follows Milos or not, I am not sure I will be a fan of his again.

Steve 27 Says:

This reminds me sf of Roland Garros. Hahhaha

scineram Says:

Not cheating but unsportsmanlike. However everyone would have done the same, so who casts first stone?

Margot Says:

How old is he? He’s like a kid who thinks he can get away with stuff, as long as the teacher’s not looking.
About to learn a very harsh lesson though.

scineram Says:

Also he beraly touched the net. Nole’s was much much worse.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

@scineram @2:31 am
Agree. Get of your high horses people, your favourites are not saints either.

Bonnie Says:

If Raonic was following the honor code of the best of the tennis players, he would have admitted his mistake, and said he did touch the net with his foot. Everyone knows it, and now he is not respected for being a very honest player.

roy Says:

modern society has no honour and no principles outside of ”criminal” activity so what do we actually expect from me-generation young jerks? do we actually expect them to be ”honest”?

the same thing happens in cricket now where batters don’t ”walk” when they know they are out. and likewise a few people complain, but more people excuse/tolerate/validate the behaviour.

the real problem isn’t the players it’s the fact nobody truly holds these people accountable. that’s why you actually have people ARGUING about whether or not this is cheating.
if you can’t understand this is cheating, you HAVE NO HONOUR it’s that simple.

ultimately raonic actually had no problem with what he did. to him it was acceptable. which is why he just thought he was lucky.
that’s the scary thing.
that’s because society including the sporting establishment let’s him get away with it.
if we did live in an honour-based society those reporters would have shredded him. all the players in the locker room would punish him. he would be metaphorically lynched by the vast majority of fans.
and what that does is something which used to happen in our society.

it set BOUNDARIES on behaviour.

tough sell to people these days. you need a spine for this kind of thing and a value system of some merit.

Nativenewyorker Says:

I agree with Sean on this one. Very poor judgment on the part of Raonic. There is a code of honor in this sport. I am really surprised at him. It was so blatant and it appears that everyone but the umpire saw it.

Why not just own up to it? Did winning here in Montreal mean that much? It’s just wrong.

Oh and for those who are trying to justify it by saying he “hardly touched” the net, that is absurd! You either touch it or you don’t!

Finally, what Raonic did is on him. Some people love to divert attention by bringing up the old line that other players do things that are just as bad. So that makes it right? Please!

Brando Says:

@Roy: seriously tough tone in your stance you take there. But I got to say: I completely agree. The level of honorable behaviour in pretty much most sports has gone down the toilet over the years. Tennis is one of the few sports where it still is at a good level. But what Milos did was just plain unacceptable. No wonder Delpo was very upset after the match. Can hardly blame him. Milos was better off losing the match than what he has now: a real blemish against his conduct as a tennis player.

Steve 27 Says:

I would like to read canadian newspaper about this.
who said that the first world is perfect?

James Says:

I doubt Raonic is a bad guy but sorry, that’s cheating. Maybe he went blank and didn’t know what to do at that moment. But I wish he came out later and admitted he made a mistake there, that he was wrong. If he does that, he can be forgiven and people will still hold him high. But this is something he must never repeat again in his career.

When I play (or played) tennis, and a point is awarded to me wrongly, I never hesitate to correct whoever is in the chair umpire role. I believe if I’m really good and play well I’ll win anyway. But I’ve also seen many who don’t do the same. Even among my friends. Maybe Raonic is that type of person.

the DA Says:

Raonic was in the wrong and the expression on his face shows he knew it. It may not have been the point of the match but it was very important. It lead to a BP which allowed Milos to get back on serve. This will be a blight on his career similar to the Henin moment vs Serena at RG.

nadalista Says:

All is not lost, tennis fans. There are tennis players out there who know of, and abide by, “the code” of honour:

RT @stu_fraser: “As I read about the Raonic fallout, reminded of Jonny Marray’s sportsmanship when he called net touch on himself in the Wimbledon final.”

Margot Says:

AND Jonny won! I suspect Raonic would’ve too. Doubt if too many matches turns on one point alone, unless your Nole of course!

Polo Says:

Henceforth, Raonic will forever carry the tag of a cheater. He threw his integrity into the wind and showed the world his disregard for honesty and sportsmanship just for a win. There is no excuse in the world for what he did. It was his choice and he chose to cheat.

Polo Says:

If you know the rule, breaks the rule, knows you broke the rule but still takes the prize for something you know you don’t deserve, what do you call that? Cheater, of course. So, please, some people who claim that Raonic did not cheat, examine your own conscience. If you are wont to do the same, then you and Raonic belong to each other.

nadalista Says:

And for those who say maybe he was confused IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT, that’s fine. But they showed the whole incident AFTER, by way of a replay on the stadium big screen, during the match, which EVERYONE, including Milos, saw.

So, Milos had ample opportunity to do the right thing and give a point away. He chose not to.

Thomas Says:

After Raonic’s blatant cheating, Del Potro didn’t even win a single point for the rest of the match. Given Delpo’s back issues, I still would have favoured Milos to win anyway, but what Raonic did was wrong.

Gordon Says:

Yep, I saw the first horse of the apocalypse appearing when Milos didn’t fess us. And now he is playing a guy who spent a night in jail in Swden for soliciting prostitutes. If Milos is really on the ball he will have arranged for some sex trade workers to visit Gulbis last night with a bag of blow and party all night with him, which would not be out of character for the Latvian.

Speaking about out of character, winning at all costs or winning ugly, Brad Gilbert calls it, is something Del Potro should latch on to. Immediately after the net brush incident the Argentine should have pulled a McEnroe and blown up – made an issue of it and walked up to the ref and while there asked Raonic to admit he brushed the net. That would have taken The Canadian to a new level of cheating; he either would have fessed up, which would have been awkward, or he would have to lie, which would make him look even worse than he does now.

I know one shouldn’t have to resort to theatrics, but sometimes they work and if something goes against you like it often does in matches governed by blind Mohammed maybe completely losing your concentration, smiling like an oaf and losing the remaining points of the match with a poor-me disposition is not the way to reach the pinnacle in this sport.

As for you all comparing Milos just taking the point to Lance Armstrong or A-Rod… Really?

Kimberly Says:

Never respected Henin after she denied she held up her hand at the French Open against Serena. Or medina garrigues when she denied she was hot with the ball. This is the same.

Ben Pronin Says:

Well this is clearly the worst thing to ever happen to the sport. Milos should be ashamed of himself. He’d probably be best served to retire from the sport, maybe at the end of the year. No point in carrying on now. The players will shun him, the media will destroy him, and the fans, well, who can forget the almighty fans? There’s no turning it around for him. His career is as good as over. Might as well stick a needle in his arm, maybe become super human and win everything in sight. Won’t even matter. His image can’t possibly get any worse. #downwiththecheaters

Ben Pronin Says:

Remember that time Gonzalez hit the ball against Blake at the Olympics but DENIED it? Yeah. But Milos is the worst. #leavethesport #tarnishingthegoodnameoftennis #ifyoureadthishashtagyouhaveaseriousproblem

Tootie Says:

It showed a lack of character on Milos’ part.

moam Says:

Ok, Roanic was wrong not to confess his brush with the net. But holy Christ, why are people making this big of a deal about one negative incident? I just don’t it determined the outcome of the match. Both guys were playing at less than 100% physically and it appeared as though Milos was going to win the match anyway. I think he is being judged far to harshly. He’s been floundering and struggling to find his best tennis of late, so it was a good win for him, even if a little tainted. His best play adds more intrigue to the mix. I’m willing to forgive him for the net brush thing and hope to see him gain some confidence from the win over a somewhat hobbled Del po.

Ben Pronin Says:

Moam, don’t you understand this stains the entire sport? Tennis as a whole is going to have an incredibly hard time recovering from such a treacherous act!

Romey Says:

Yeah, he should have called the violation on himself, but let’s face it–this is a pretty dumb rule in some cases, like this one, where Del Potro had absolutely no play on the ball.

Alex Says:

LMAO, Bens definitely being sarcastic, no?

El Flaco Says:

Can anyone produce a link where a player conceded a point for touching the net? Sorry, but line calls on clay don’t count because as Roddick stated in Sean’s link the umpire is coming out to check the mark anyway.

I think Ben’s example of the Blake match against Gonzalez is a good comparison. If a player feels his toe touch the net or a ball brush his sleeve as it passes by him at the net is he going to signal to the umpire that he is conceding the point? I have my doubts because I can’t recall that happening.

I am open-minded and would like to be persuaded that players do in fact call their own fouls so please post some links for me. Thanks.

Brit Says:

I feel bad for Raonic on this because it is a stupid rule. It should be a judgement call by the umpire. Raonic did not “hit” the net, his foot slipped as he was stopping. He had worked very hard to win the point and to have it taken away for this is dumb.

The umpire should be allowed to judge if the net “stopped” the player or if the player “hit” the net with their racket. Touching the bottom of the net with a toe depends on where the bottom of the net is sitting. Even in volleyball your feet can go below the net.

As the rules are today if Raonic absolutely knew he touched the net and knew the point was not dead he should have said something. Players see missed line calls all the time and do not say anything, because they can pretend they were not 100% sure. Fans do not question their integrity in these cases. Here, Raonic had won the point!

The rule should be changed.

nadalista Says:

@El Flaco 8:56 am;

You asked, please see link below:


“Yet even more remarkable was the great sportsmanship displayed by Jonny Marray in the third set tie break. With the match level at one set all and 6 games each, just a few quick fire points decided the outcome of this crucial set. Yet unbeknownst to anyone else, Marray had touched the net, a technical error which if observed forfeits the point. Marray owned up to his mistake, and the umpire awarded the point to the opposing doubles pair.

In the modern era of high pressure, high reward sporting contests, such pure sportsmanship is virtually unheard of. And yet the humble and down-to-earth Yorkshireman went on to win both the set and the final, entering both the history books and legend, as Britain celebrates their first Wimbledon men’s doubles champion for over 75 years.

Who said that sportsmanship is dead?!”


tennisx hippy chic Says:

Lucy@12.02am whether or not its a stupid rule,is neither here nor there,whether the point was over anyway is niether here nor there,whether Raonic would have won anyway is niether here nor there,the point is a rule is a rule,granted touching the net with his foot was an accident,but the point is a rule is a rule,and you can sugar coat it anyway you want,but the rule was broken in that no bodily contact should be made with the net,Nole lost a point at the FO,and Milos should have owned up and lost a point here,cheating or poor spotsmanship,i dont know which,but surely it amounts to the same thing,i have lost some respect for Milos now,this tainted what looked to have been a fantastic match,and a fantastic win for Milos against a top 5 player in Delpo,rather dissapointing IMO.

El Flaco Says:

Nice to see Nadalista! We can definitely say that Marray is a better sportsman than Raonic.

Interesting that the article says, “In the modern era of high pressure, high reward sporting contests, such pure sportsmanship is virtually unheard of.” Judging from the comments here shouldn’t the story have said “As is customary in professional tennis Marray conceded the point.” Well I suppose if that were the case there wouldn’t even have been a story because that is something players typically do.

Hopefully a few other posters will find some singles players who did something similar.

tennisx hippy chic Says:

Nadalista thanks for that,us humble and down to earth Yorkshire people are well known for our honesty and integrity,and still went on to win the championship regardless,thats our boys for ya he he / / / :-D..

Gordon Says:

If a rule is a rule then how about the getting the ball into play every 25 second rule that is CONSTANTLY ignored and not challenged. How about the no coaching from your box rule, when certain players have their coaches, family, friends etc. give hand signals.

This is such a minor infraction; if you REALLY think it will be an albatross around the Canadian’s neck until he retires you are all smoking some pretty heavy stuff.

tennisx hippy chic Says:

Gordon true,but two wrongs dont make a right.

Ben Pronin Says:

Gordon, what? Are you saying that the players should give themselves violations? Or that they should follow Bernard Tomic’s actions and ask the umpire to have their dads/uncles/coaches/whoevers removed? Blasphemy! This is clearly the most important rule in tennis and Milos Raonic is a dirty cheater! #downwiththecheaters

Thomas Says:

Gordan is right. And the “touch the net” rule is probably the most useless one in the sport.

the DA Says:

@ Ban

Of course nobody is saying that this stains the entire sport. That’s ludicrous. However, this IS a stain on Raonic’s character. Or are you going to argue that sportsmanship is a virtue without merit? Is the ATP’s Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award meaningless and outdated?

lmsoriginals Says:

No honor in this win! Very disappointed. Also a bit disappointed in all of the fans trying to find any/some reasons that the actions (or non-action really) were excusable or even correct. When the replay showed to the whole world that he did in fact touch the net, he had the perfect opportunity to fess up – alas, the win was more important to him then his honor. Too bad, I agree he would probably have won anyway but this has tainted my option of him in indelible ink!

M Says:

@scineram –

“However everyone would have done the same”

*You* are not “everyone”.

Ben Pronin Says:

DA, obviously he’s not winning the award. It’s obviously unsportsmanlike. I lose a little bit of respect, but not that much, honestly. It’s a stupid rule. Probably the dumbest in tennis. Especially since it’s not like touching the net somehow helped him win the point. I think illegal coaching, intential time wasting, and other such things are significantly worse. I’m just pointing out that everyone here is overreacing big time.

Bunch of drama queens, really. And these same people criticize Djokovic for being a drama queen. Pot, meet kettle. And I love how Djokovic is being criticized for the RG semi as if though he did the same thing. What? Seriously, WHAT?

Anyways, like El Flaco pointed out, the article about Marray says how it’s rare. You know what’s worse? Raonic’s 11 minute MTO earlier in the match. So he got away with touching the net. Is it cheating? Yeah, I’d say it is because he blatantly broke the rule. I’m not going to say that because other players don’t call lines or violate the time rules or whatever is an excuse for this, but seriously people, relax. It’s not the end of the world.

M Says:

@Gordon –

“If a rule is a rule then how about the getting the ball into play every 25 second rule that is CONSTANTLY ignored and not challenged.”

It was just challenged yesterday.
I’m thinking you may have missed it.

Clearly umps are human like the rest of us, therefore not perfect, therefore miss things.
It doesn’t follow from that, however, that fans always catch it when they *do* do their jobs well.

@lmsoriginals –

“Also a bit disappointed in all of the fans trying to find any/some reasons that the actions (or non-action really) were excusable or even correct.”

Me too.

whieduk Says:

Did Raonic cheat? When he struck the ball, was it a dead ball before he touched the net? He did not know. At that moment in time it is difficult for him to say. Not only that, if he were to then argue against the umpire to get Del Potro the point, that umpire would look like a fool.

Raonic is in a no win situation.

1. He does not know at that point when he touched the net whether or not the ball is dead.

2. If he somehow knows for certain it was not dead when he touched the net, now he has to argue against the umpire after he has already made his decision. I have never seen that in tennis.

Margot Says:

I think anyone could make an error of judgement in a match, Milos probably thought “Whoopee” when umpire failed to notice the net touch. There was no time for him to reflect on the incident.
For me, what’s far worse, is the justification afterwards. I don’t think he has a coach at the moment? He certainly needed a wise voice in his ear.
Agree with Ben too, an 11 minute MTO is clearly taking the p***.

nadalista Says:

This whole situation is crying out for Oprah…….

RZ Says:

Not the best sportsmanship, and Raonic didn’t help matters in his comments. The main question surrounding the issue is when was the ball dead – before or after Raonic touched the net? I can’t imagine the ball was dead before then, and in the video it’s clear that Raonic saw his feet touch the net. That’s a shame that he didn’t call it. However, at the end of the day, it’s the ump’s call to make and Layhani screwed this one up.

Margot Says:

Apparently Oprah is trying to buy a handbag in Switzerland, so she’s a bit busy right now…….

Karen Says:

I don’t thnk Milos did anything wrong as the chair umpire had already made the call and even after lookiing at the re-play on the big screen the umpire stood with his decision that he wasn’t going to call it as he didn’t see it live. The umpire didn’t change his decision after Del Potro argued for the point, so I doubt that even if Milos got involved with the discussion that the umpiire would have changed his mind. Give Milos a break! Yes, it’s unfair for Del Potro, but the umpire is to blame. This win is less sweet because of this, but it’s still a valid win. It is a competition, not a backyard tennis game with friends!

El Flaco Says:

What Raonic should have done is inform the umpire that his foot touched the net, but that it might have occurred right as the ball was bouncing a 2nd time. Then ask the umpire if he could make that determination. The ump probably would have said he wasn’t able to make a determination so the play stands. It’s easy for me to say that now of course.

I don’t blame Layhani for a blown call for 2 reasons. One, it is impossible to see a player’s foot touch the bottom of the net unless you anticipate it and lean one way and cock your head to get a viewing angle. You could see Layhani do that, but he first had to follow the flight of a rapidly struck ball that Raonic just hit in the opposite direction. He couldn’t keep the flight of the ball and Raonic in view at the same time.

When Djokovic did it at the French it was a lightly struck ball angled towards the far end of the court that allowed the umpire to see it and Djokovic at the net at the same time. Also, it was Djokovic’s mid section that touched the net so the umpire could easily see it.

nadalista Says:

Hahaha, @Margot! Well, Raonic needs to “reach out” if he knows what’s good for him.

Not suggesting this is of Armstrong-esque proportions, but…….well, Oprah has ways, and means, of making “villains” more likeable………

I believe it’s the way she positions the couch, the lighting, the strategically placed box of tissues…

And think of what the ratings could do for the ATP?

And Oprah? Never again would she be mistaken for the help in Switzerland, ……Roger would see to that!

Brando Says:

@Margot: ROFLMFAO re Oprah comment! What a world we live in : A Canadian- the land of the fair- being dishonest, a billionaire not being able to buy a handbag because security thinks she cannot afford it and Ben being sarcastic for a change. All in near 24 hours. Signs of a impending apocalypse no?

nadalista Says:

@Brando, 12:24 pm

Don’t forget to include a Spaniard who should be hung, drawn and quartered for passing on a doubles match in this infamy!

Nativenewyorker Says:


The sarcasm for those of us who believe that Raonic cheated and violated the code of honor in this sport, is really not warranted. No one said that the world is ending because of it. We are just stating the facts as we see it. Because he did cheat. Everyone could see it with the endless replays on tv. We could also see that the umpire unfortunately was looking at Delpo and didn’t see what happened. So it was up to Raonic to do the right thing and admit that his foot hit the net.

It doesn’t matter if people think it’s a dumb rule. It’s still a rule. The other players know what he did. He is going to have to go in that locker room and be around these guys. That’s not going to be easy.

A good example of the honor code is during the clay court season when players can see the marks on the court. Many times we have seen players concede the point by rubbing out the mark. Rafa has done it numerous times. Since there is no hawkeye in these tournaments, this honor code is even more important. So players are quite capable of conceding points.

I do remember what Fernando Gonzales hit the ball against Blake at the Olympics and denied it. Yes, that was cheating. Who says it isn’t? But why bring it up to somehow defend Raonic? For not being the only cheater? I would not want to be in the same company as Fernando Gonzales. That incident haunted him for the rest of his career. People remember. So do the players.

Now we have social media, so it’s even worse. I saw the replay a number of times. Raonic realized what he did and then looked up to see if the umpire saw it. He didn’t and Raonic let it go. Now he is going to have to deal with the consequences of his own actions.

Nativenewyorker Says:

Sorry, I just wanted to make one more point. No way do I believe that this is in the same league as doping. That is far worse because it’s a deliberate attempt to gain an unfair advantage all the time. So I wanted to make that clear. But I don’t agree with rationalizations and justifications for Raonic not owning up and giving Delpo the point.

Lou_tennisfan Says:

Good for Raonic that he won. But Delpo has all the reason in the world to be upset with him. raonic should have called about the net touch and forfeited the point. His response on being asked is bit sad as what he means is that if you are in a crunch situation, you should not speak even if its wrong. Ideally what he means is that by hook or crook, if nobody knows that you have done any wrong, just don’t say it out loud and go on become the winner. No wonder we have so many scandals in the corporate world and also sports world exactly on this philosophy. No doubt that this will always haunt him.

This incident reminded me of Justin Henin controversial point in 2003.

Rafael Nadal Superstitions and Knee Issues – Hoax or Fact? http://tinyurl.com/n8joukc

skeezer Says:

who’s we?

skeezer Says:

how about breaking a rule intentionally? is it “cheating”, or just “playing within the rules”. Just because an empire doesn’t enforce it doesn’t make it right.

the DA Says:

Interesting story (via Jon Wertheim) about Roddick’s sportsmanship in Rome 2005. He had MP, conceded a point and ended up losing the match but he felt he couldn’t lie despite being given a golden opportunity.


Betsy Says:

I don’t like the headline or the poll question. It is not “cheating” as Raonic did not break any rules by not admitting he touched the net and the umpire didn’t see it. You CAN hit the net if the ball is already dead, and he may not have seen when the ball bounced twice….that being said, I think he did know he probably hit the net and showed bad sportsmanship. So I think the question and poll should have been: Did Raonic show bad sportsmanship?

leave milos alone Says:

it’s not like he touched the net and hindered delpo. delpo was running the other way. leave it alone.

RZ Says:

Karen, players can actually give a point. I saw this happen at Indian Wells, where Isner and Querrey were playing against Ferrer and Robredo. The ump botched a call that should have gone Ferrer and Robredo’s way (I can’t remember the details of what happened exactly, will have to ask the friend who was watching with me), and instead called a let. Isner and Querrey had a brief exchange, gave the point to their opponents, then changed positions to serve the next point. BTW, they got a large round of applause for doing that as it showed good sportsmanship.

Richard D. Cameron Says:

How sad to read all the commentators who find any reason to rationalize cheating. Whether the umpire saw it or not, Raonic is obligated, not just by the honor code, but by, one hopes, his own ethics, to give the point to his opponent. Moral relativism is a cancer on the ethical core of civilization. Yes, touching the net with one’s foot isn’t the end of civilization but it’s a metaphor for what one sees with too many of us…no core of ethical or moral behavior. Shame on Raonic and those who rationalize his error.

Nativenewyorker Says:


“who’s we?”

I don’t know if this was meant for my initial post on the cheating issue, but if it was then I have no problem clarifying the use of that word. As you can see from reading the posts here, I am not the only one who thinks that Raonic cheated and was wrong in not acknowledging what he did and letting Delpo properly get the point.

I did not mean to speak for others who feel the same way, but this was in answer to Ben’s sarcastic comment that this must be the worst thing to ever happen in this sport.

Regardless, others are free to speak up or respond on their own to Ben’s comments on this issue.

I hope this clears up my use of the word “we”.

nadalista Says:

RT @PseudoFed: “As well as touching the net during play, does anybody know if you can have coffee delivered during points? #Raonic”

Giles Says:

Is Lubi coaching Raonic? Does anybody know?

Paul Says:

Oh shut up!!! I’m not the biggest tennis fan but I like to read up on any sports stories making news. This is sports!!! You wanna talk about cheating, talk baseball/PED’s. that’s cheating. To call this cheating is a joke. He did something that he didn’t mean to do any got away with it. In hockey when someone high sticks someone else and it’s not seen the player doesn’t go to the penalty box out of good faith. When an ump makes a bad call in baseball and the player knows it he doesn’t call himself out out of good faith. Every sport is the same. Sure, it would be nice in a perfect world where every call in sports gets called correctly and we could end world hunger but its not gonna happen.

AD Tennis Says:

Well said Paul. People should keep things in perspective.

I hope Raonic has learnt his lesson and concentrates on improving his wonderful game.

brad Says:

How could anyone vote “No” he did not cheat? The rules are VERY clear. It does NOT have anything to do with, if the opponent can get to it or not, nor does it have anything to do with, what the score is at the time. It shows at very least, bad sportsmanship. I think that tells a lot about any persons integrity when they cheat. It’s hard to ever be objective about them again.

TS Says:

I agree with many of the above. Not technically cheating, but cheating in spirit, i.e. bad sportsmanship. One transgression isn’t a hanging offense, I can understand one’s desire in the heat of the moment to take the point. But I think he should make a point from now on of playing clean unless he doesn’t mind losing a lot of fans who will think he’s a sleaze-bag.

James Says:

Too bad for Milos, he’s playing Rafa in the final. You don’t get away with a net touch against the Majorcan. Remember RG semi final.

Milos Raonic Apologizes For No-Call Net Touch, Plans To Speak With Del Potro Says:

[…] the singles final losing to Rafael Nadal Sunday. But all wasn’t rosy for the 22-year-old who created controversy and outrage over his no-call at the net during a win over Juan Martin Del Potro last […]

WTF Says:

Q. But it was his point.
MILOS RAONIC: Hypothetically yes. Technically no.

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Hypothetically? There is no hypothetical about it. You knew you touched the net, you didn’t do the honorable thing and own up.

Honorably players like Agassi would concede a point when an opponent’s would-be-winner is incorrectly called out. Players on clay courts will correct an opponent’s out ball if it touched the line, and concede the point even though it was just given to them.

That’s integrity, which Milos does not have. I’m glad Nadal beat him.

grendel Says:

” I’m glad Nadal beat him”

Why, would you otherwise have preferred it if Raonic had won?

Andy Coleman Says:

The issue isn’t whether or not Milos touched the net. The umpire’s response to Del Potro was that he was aware Raonic touched the net…but that he believed Milos did so AFTER the point was dead. It is not for Raonic to determine that. Milos knew he touched the net. He was also aware that the umpire knew it. Del Potro had every right to challenge the official’s ruling. But Delpo was wrong to diss Roanic for an umpire’s mis-interpretation & unwillingness to reverse his call on the play. Raonic did everything A-Okay! Del Potro is showing his arrogant sour grapes to link everything that went wrong for him in that match to this single point …& then to complain that it was Raonic’s fault. It would have seemed unfortunate & also a bit of a travesty had Del Potro won that controversial point – as well. Especially on such a Mickey Mouse infraction – when Del potro was so out-played on the point & Raonic barely touched the bottom of a loose net. But the official DID see it. Video showed us he was looking there. However, he chose to call the play dead. Del Potro’s disappointment should be directed at the official…not at his opponent on this question. Post-match jibes & clear attempts to maligne his young opponent’s character..are reflecting MORE poorly on the veteran, Del Potro.

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