It is every doubles player’s worst fear: Your partner pops you in the back of the head while you’re standing at the net. On Sunday at the Miami Open presented by Itau, Marcelo Melo of Brazil realised that fear.
During the second set, Melo’s partner Ivan Dodig of Croatia tried to drill a forehand cross-court. Instead, the ball flew off Dodig’s racquet and nailed Melo’s head.
The Brazilian fell to the ground but he was OK. Minutes later, play resumed.
The day didn’t get much better for the Brazilian, though.
He and Dodig, the No. 2 seeds in Miami, lost to Treat Huey of the Philippines and Max Mirnyi of Belarus 6-7(1), 4-6. Melo was ranked No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Ranking, but his loss will send Great Britain’s Jamie Murray to the top spot when the new rankings are published on April 4.