UPDATE: Due to the freak nature of this historic choke, SportsBet has since honoured the famed Kristina Mladenovic multi and paid the punter his $$$.
In a tale as old as time itself, a man has come inches from glory on the punt. Having lined up an 18-leg multi last week, the potential payout for his $20 bet was $66,000 – and it was one which almost came into fruition. Until a single leg fell through when world number thirty-nine French tennis star – Kristina Mladenovic – lost her match against Varvara Gracheva in a historic choke for the former/historic comeback for the latter.
Mladenovic won the first set 6-1 and was leading 5-1 in the second set, just needing to hold serve one more time to close out the match. She had four match points before suffering probably the biggest choke in Grand Slam history – losing the second set 6-7 in a tiebreak and then completely capitulating in the third to lose 1-6, 7-6, 6-0.
After the match, Kristina Mladenovic voiced her dissatisfaction with the conditions she faced in the US Open’s bubble. Mladenovic was, of course, one of several athletes who was placed under an “enhanced protocol plan” due to making contact with world number twenty-two player Benoit Paire – who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and forced to withdraw.
“I was playing well but I was feeling on edge. We’re living a nightmare here. What they are forcing us to go through is abominable. I want my freedom back. I feel like we are prisoners here.”
“It’s not the USTA’s fault that I didn’t convert four match points – don’t get me wrong. The conditions are atrocious and if I had known that playing cards for 40 minutes with a player who tested positive… would have resulted in these consequences, I would never have set foot in this tournament.”
Mladenovic has since dubbed this match against Gracheva the “most painful” of her career. And I think it’s safe to assume this has undoubtedly been one of the more painful moments in our tragic punter’s tenure with SportsBet.