Did you ever think that a tennis ball can cause death?
Well 10 September, 1983 is one of the saddest days ever in history of tennis and US Open tournament as on that day, a match official got injured during the match which led him towards death. American Dick Werthiem was officiating the title match of 1983 US Open Junior Boys between Stefan Edberg and Simon Youl and tennis ball hit Dick’s groin which caused his life.
Dick Wertheim was officiating the match as the center service linesman and he was sitting on a folding chair. Stefan Edberg served an ace with such a great power and it hit Wertheim’s groin. This led Wertheim fallen on the ground with an extreme collision to the hard surface of US Open tennis court. The moment was stunned as Dick Wertheim became unconscious.
He was taken Flushing Hospital and Medical Center where he was put on respiratory system. He never regained the the consciousness and after fighting 5 days with crucial head injuries he passed away. After this incident Dick Wertheim became first person who was killed by a tennis ball in a tennis match.
Obviously Stefan Edberg was really upset with the incident though he didn’t kill Dick Wertheim but still his shot caused Dick deeply. He recovered from this incident as the time passed and achieved some great memories on court. He won 6 singles and 3 doubles grand slams in career.
Dick Wertheim family claimed 2.25 million dollar charge against United States Tennis Association (USTA) for not providing proper security and safety facilities to officials. After the complete investigation it was found that Wertheim death wasn’t actually caused by tennis ball’s strike. Still USTA was found 25% responsible for it and asked to give $165,000 jury award.