Novak Djokovic Gets Testy With A Reporter At ATP Finals [Video]
by Tom Gainey | November 14th, 2016, 3:07 pm

Following a 3-set win over Dominic Thiem in his opening match at the ATP Finals in London yesterday, Novak Djokovic and a local journalist got into it. Mirror reporter Neil McLeman went after Djokovic for hitting the ball into the crowd after dropping a tough first set to the Austrian. Djokovic didn’t take kindly to the inquisition from Mcleman.

Q. Back to the end of the first set, we saw you similarly venting your frustration at Roland Garros, throwing your racquet. Does it concern you one day that will cost you dearly? If it hit someone…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You guys are unbelievable.

Q. Why is it unbelievable?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Because you’re always picking these kind of things.

Q. If you keep doing these things…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I keep doing these things? Why don’t you get suspended then?

Q. You were close, weren’t you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m close? I’m still not suspended, so if I’m not close, I’m not close.

Q. If that ball had hit a spectator, it could have been serious.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It could have been, yes. It could have snowed in O2 arena, as well, but it didn’t.

Q. You’re not concerned about your mindset?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m the only player that shows his frustration on the court? That’s what you are saying?

Q. You’re one of the top-ranked players in the world.

Q. You are showing this frustration. I’m asking you, do you think it’s an issue for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is not an issue for me. It’s not the first time I did it.

Djokovic actions didn’t appear to be that egregious, though it did produce a warning from the chair umpire Bernardes. And how much tennis does this reporter cover anyway?

Some came to his defense:

The side note is Djokovic is battling Andy Murray for the No. 1 ranking, so might there be some extra bias to take a shot at Novak?

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69 Comments for Novak Djokovic Gets Testy With A Reporter At ATP Finals [Video]

Wog Boy Says:

Thumbs up for the article and questions you asked at the end.
To my knowledge that reoprter is from some tabloid, doesn’t have clue about tennis and was there to provoke Nole.
We are going back to British media…surprise surprise

Wog Boy Says:

He didn’t even hit the ball towards stands, it went to the ground first.

Danica Says:

Of course there is bias? Was there ever a no bias when Nole was in question? This was purposeful bullying. I suggest the yellow press google the word “inat”.

el_matador Says:

thumbs up to nole for putting this “journalist” in his place..would love more “arrogance” like this..

Willow Says:

Novak didnt hit the ball in the stands, so i apologize for ever saying he did, especially to Danica as shes a poster i respect greatly, and i did actually say on the other thread, that i think the press ask stupid questions sometimes ….

Van Persie Says:

Am wondering if Andy was asked at the press conference, what noises disturbed him from Cilic? He did complain about something like that at the beginning of the 1 set…

“The side note is Djokovic is battling Andy Murray for the No. 1 ranking, so might there be some extra bias to take a shot at Novak? ” very possible.

Van Persie Says:

It is very likely, that Andy will keep the Nr. 1 ranking. Personally I am not desperate after the Nr. 1 thing, I only hope that Djoko comes out of the slump, where he was in the last months. Wanna see him as a tough competitor in 2017. I liked his body language in the match against Thiem, so, good signs there…do not understand why the British media needs to overreact with each “outburst” from Nole. That does not help Andy and Djoko is used with this BS.

J-Kath Says:

VP: The journalist was from the Mirror – a real rubbish nwspaper – makes the Mail look like the Financial Times.

Van Persie Says:

JK, I do not know how qualitative the Mirror is, but they have quoted Henman.
If I am searching for news about Djoko, 50% are about his outburst against that idiotic journalist.

Wog Boy Says:

I went to check Mirror too and found the same thing, half articles are about Nole hitting the ball in the crowd, which is lie, and that reporter is listed as golf reporter, go figure:)
I thought UK tennis has only one idiot, Greg Rusedski, but was wrong, they have two, Tim Henman is the second and it is so obvious that this is orchestrated, they were waiting for the first thing they can get hold on. Do you remember who started match fixing allegations during. AO? British press and again and again and again…

Willow Says:

I Gave up with newspapers years ago, the British press like to build people up to knock them down again, i can guarantee that should AM make a good run they will do the exact same thing to him ….

Van Persie Says:

Yep WB, and if you are searching for Breaking News 24/7 on Novak Djokovic, the majority of them are about Nole and his tense exchange with journalist or Nolle hitting balls into the crowd :)

Giles Says:

The British newspapers are printing news as they are supposed to do. Why are the joker fans having a problem with this? Is any of the news false? No. it’s a question of the truth hurts, no?

J-Kath Says:

Van Persie:

Have been away from contact – just back now. At least you uncovered the Mirror – yes Henman said something too. In fairness to Tim Henman – other idiots draw him in e.g. it was Tim who told the press that Andy said: “hope any other country wins the contest other than England.” Even now some English folk refuse to believe Andy was joking. Tim is closest to Roger Federer – he has Roger and all his family to “High Tea” during Wimbledon.

Tim usually tries to be fair, but has his preferences.

Willow Says:

The women are worse all that fawning they do over Federer, Sue Barker is bad enough, but Virginia Wade and Annabelle Croft YUCK, i dont think Virginia ever got over Rafa beating him in 2008, you can here the anymosity in her voice whenever she mentions his name ….

J-Kath Says:

VP and TB:

The Mirror isn’t finished with Nole yet – here is their latest piece of scribbling:

Annabelle Croft can change favourites depends who is most in the news.
Virginia Wade is a double swear word for me.
Sue Barker wants to keep her job – she’s forgotten which end of the racquet is supposed to hit the ball….and then there is that other pain in the “a-se” – who shall remain nameless talks about the Stone Age when he was at his poorest-best.

Van Persie Says:


Have to admit I am a bit superficial sometimes. I am looking for news on Breaking News 24/7 , then you got them all…or almost all.

Was surprised to find also a sensible one ;) WOW!

skeezer Says:

Re; Novak
He is who he is. Can’t hide that.
Meanwhile, in better news;

Fed vs Andy!!

J-Kath Says:


Just about everything turns up here first. My bill is in the post.

Van Persie Says:

Hehe, I won’t pay, JK, because I use the same source every day ;) I call it 24/7 and not News now, like it should be :D

J-Kath Says:

VP: Ahem, Ahem!! Now I know your intentions – I shan’t give you the rest.


J-Kath Says:

VP: You won the match. Pretty close though.

Van Persie Says:

Am more interested to win the evening match :D
Am off now, have to drive home.

Danica Says:

Willow, thank you for nice words, however, really no need to apologize ;). All is cool. ♡♡♡

MMT Says:

I think the intent of the original question is fair – it’s not the first time Djokovic does something that could accidentally get him defaulted. Where I take issue is when the reporter strays into whether it’s repetitive and/or his state of mind. That doesn’t matter at all.

If Djokovic had hit someone with that ball, even accidentally, he could have been defaulted from the tournament, and he wouldn’t be the first to have that happen. If he had hit that ball boy in Miami as he angrily grabbed that towel last year, even accidentally, that too could have resulted in a default. If a piece of one of his racquets flies off and injures someone, in one of his prolonged racquet destructions, that too would result in default.

Understanding the lonely struggle of a tennis player in the crucible of competition is one thing – but at the end of the day, one of these outbursts could cost him dearly even though he has no intention of hurting anyone. So, in my opinion, that question (and that question only) is a fair one. The rest of it was pointless.

Margot Says:

^ Just off the top of my head…Mac was kicked out of the AO. amazing what he said really in comparison to the kind of stick players get nowadays for far less…and Nalbandian out of Qieens.

J-Kath Says:


Help – I also paid the £10.99 – but cannot access???????????????

Margot Says:

Dunno why Kath. I’ve just logged on and am in? Password sorted? Acknowledged in your email?

chrisford1 Says:

Nice try, MMT. We all know what your agenda is.

Ball bounced on the court, was not sent into the stands direct, no DQ possible.
Djokovic yelling at his box was standing still, not close to incoming ballboy, who was startled by the outburst – no more. NO DQ possible.
It appears the “racket toss” at the 2015 FO started as a racket smash Djokovic thought of stopping at the last instant, and the racket slipped out of his fingers on the check swing and skittered away. In US baseball, a check swing can cause the bat to fly from the batter, even snap at the neck. Novak could have been disqualified in that incident if the racket had struck and injured someone. But replays whould have shown the racket just kept angular momentum and skittered off behind him when he stopped his downward motion to avoid the racket smashup..

lyle nubbins Says:

I think Nole needs to see his long hug guru guy LOL

J-Kath Says:

Yes – Highly irritated – not by you.

Wog Boy Says:

Mac was kicked out of AO more than deserving, what he did was far worse than what Nole did, it is not even comparable, and just for the record, Nole did not hit the ball in the stands, the ball come of the ground and was falling into the stands, the only speed ball had was the speed of the gravity, now to remind people what “pure” Mac did and was “undeservingly” kicked out of AO:

“On January 21, 1990, at the Australian Open in Melbourne, American tennis player John McEnroe becomes the first player since 1963 to be disqualified from a Grand Slam tournament for misconduct.

“At the 1990 Australian Open, the 30-year-old McEnroe was trying to win his first major tournament since the 1984 U.S. Open. On January 21, he took on Sweden’s Mikael Pernfors, a two-time National Collegiate Association of America (NCAA) champion, in the fourth round. McEnroe won the first set easily, but Pernfors lifted the level of his game to win the second set. After the players traded service breaks in the third, McEnroe led 2-1. During the changeover, he stopped in front of a lineswoman he thought had made a bad call, glaring at her while bouncing a ball on his racket. The chair umpire, Gerry Armstrong, gave McEnroe a conduct code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Bigger trouble began in the seventh game of the fourth set, with McEnroe leading overall 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, 2-4. Hitting a forehand wide to go down 15-30, McEnroe threw his racket to the ground, where it bounced on the court’s hard surface. Another wide McEnroe forehand prompted another racket smash, this one cracking the racket’s head. Armstrong called another code violation, for racket abuse, and McEnroe started swearing at him, demanding the intervention of Ken Farrar, the Grand Slam chief of supervisors. Farrar arrived and spoke with McEnroe, whose continued complaints and swears were audible to spectators and TV viewers. With Farrar’s authorization, Armstrong called a third and final code violation: “Default Mr. McEnroe. Game, set, match.” The crowd of 150,000 rose to their feet, booing and chanting their support for McEnroe, as McEnroe himself stood with his hands on his hips, stunned. The last player to be disqualified from a Grand Slam for misconduct had been Willie Alvarez of Spain, in the 1963 French Open, 17 years earlier.

In a press conference following the match, a subdued McEnroe explained that he had misunderstood the rules, and was unaware that the previous year’s four-step process to default had been changed to a new three-step rule: first a warning, then a point penalty, then a default.”

Wog Boy Says:

^^ retracting “undeservingly”, Margot didn’t say it was undeservingly.

MMT Says:

“Margot Says: ^ Just off the top of my head…Mac was kicked out of the AO. amazing what he said really in comparison to the kind of stick players get nowadays for far less…and Nalbandian out of Qieens.”

Funny you should mention him: the one time I can recall that he definitely should have been defaulted for violent conduct was Stockholm 1984 against Anders Jarryd, where some member(s) of the Swedish “royal” family took great delight in being doused with water and ice he had smashed in disgust after having his serve broken. This was during that infamous, “Answer my question! The question, jerk!” match (that the US Davis Cup team parodied as they cheered him and Pete Sampras on to victory in doubles over the Swiss in the 1992 final – the last great moment of his career, in my opinion, but I digress). It turned out that McEnroe was burnt out and actually wanted to be fined and suspended from the tour – a kind of cop out on the rest of the year, and didn’t mind that he eventually was. Of course, his father (agent and lawyer, John McEnroe, Sr – to whom John owed his initial ATP nickname “Junior”, by the way) being his father (agent and lawyer) appealed his suspension, just as he had all (of the many other) disciplinary measures imposed on him throughout his career. And would you believe it – the one time McEnroe wanted to be suspended, the appeal of the suspension was successful!

He definitely should have been defaulted for that, but he wasn’t. 6 years later, at the AO, against another Swede (2-time NCAA champion and 1986 RG finalist Mikael Pernfors) ironically, he had received a code violation point penalty for cracking his racquet (after an initial warning for unsportingly staring down and intimidating a lineswoman whom he – surprise, surprise – disagreed with. It should be noted that the penalty given for the racquet abuse was, in fact, a rarity in one regard only: he frequently abused his racquet, but rarely did so to the extent that it cracked. I suspect that he was actually always careful not to destroy his equipment, even when engaged in a tirade or a tantrum. In any case, McEnroe, not realizing that the code violation progression had changed on 1/1/1990, and thinking he was only risking a game penalty, told Ken Farrar to go f— his mother, and was promptly defaulted.

Now, there is some question as to whether he should have been directly defaulted or given a default as part of the progression. At the time, direct default would have resulted in his exclusion from all competitions (including the doubles). In the end, unlike when Serena was done a favor and not directly defaulted (as she should have been in 2009 at the US Open) this was largely a moot point since, ironically that was rare occasion that he didn’t play the doubles at a major because he felt (as did many at the time) he had a real shot at winning the singles.

And your Nalbandian example is apt – he had no intention of injuring that linesman when he kicked the box he sat in – but he did, in fact, injure him (accidentally) and was promptly defaulted from the final, so it can happen. And Nalbandian did not frequently act out his frustrations this way, as the more effusive Djokovic is wont to do. If I’m not mistaken, the linesman eventually lodged a complaint with the police, against Nalbandian, which the Argentine was forced to answer to. Thankfully nothing came of it.

courbon Says:

Very tough match for Novak.Milos is serving great-8 aces so far in the first set.Novak just won mini break…

chrisford1 Says:

Courbon! Where have you been?

courbon Says:

Chrisford1: Hi there, acros the pond! Just very busy-work, kids…life in general.
I do read thius blog at least twice a week. Are you watching a match?

Margot Says:

There must be some happy middle ground between the behaviour that Mac and Connors went in for, which quite honestly at times is beyond belief and I am a rugby fan, and the rather prissy condemnation of today’s players for quite understandable expressions of frustration. Eg racquet abuse, for goodness sake those poor old racquets getting upset and all.
I know there was a general tightening up after Mac and Connors, but the noose seems too tight to me.

courbon Says:

Novak-Raonic very tense match.Some silly errors on both sides but some rallies are fantastic.

courbon Says:

Yes-Novak won!
This week Novak is much more steady then last couple of months.
Serving and his overal power is still not great.But moments of magic are showing more often.
Raonic impoved a lot-speed, returns….Still, slightly mentally weak, but if he sort that out he will get a grand slam
All in all, good day at office.

Willow Says:

Hi Courbon nice to see you here ….

Also great to see MMT back, really enjoy reading his posts ….

emilia Says:

I think Novak is back — eager to fight, eager to win. Milos was a hard nut to crack, but Novak cracked it. By the way, Milos is Canadian by choice but was born in the same country as Novak. The same blood….

jane Says:

milos is from montenegro. but yeah, his family chose to move to canada when he was 3 years old, or something like that (really young).

as far as novak’s actions, my issue with it is that all players are not treated equally in or by the press. some are turned into villains, regularly, and others who commit similar acts (and really, what novak did in this case was knock the ball to the ground first and then it went up – look at video) are able to get away with it, sometimes with no questions asked.

no one made a HUGE deal of it when serena actually hit a person – cameraman? – with her racquet at wimbledon, while when novak’s racquet just came close to someone it was press armageddon!

unfortunately there will never be parity in the coverage. too many reporters are fans. and too many are english speaking from privileged western countries (as am i). and that’s the way it goes. that’s where the power is.

emilia Says:

To Jane:

When Novak was born, it was Yugteoslavia, and when Milos was born it was Yugoslavia, too. Anyway Montenegro and Serbia were one county before Montenegro left it. Novak’s father is also from Montenegro and they are Serbs which some of them deny now. But not important.

YOU ARE RIGHT: there is a big bias between the western, English speaking countries, and non-western countries. And of course, the press is partial. That’s why Novak is often mistreated….

Willow Says:

Danica @11.34am November 15th, cheers, but i always believe in being big enough to apologize if i get something wrong, or if i read a situation wrong, like i did with Novak yesterday ….

jane Says:

thanks for the clarification emilia – ofc you are correct about that. :)

MMT Says:

“chrisford1 Says: Nice try, MMT. We all know what your agenda is.”

As usual, the paucity of rational contradiction is always prefaced by an attempt to discredit the original argument.

“Ball bounced on the court, was not sent into the stands direct, no DQ possible.”

That’s not the rule – you’ve made that up entirely. There is no distinction between hitting the ground first or the spectator directly, in anger.

“Djokovic yelling at his box was standing still, not close to incoming ballboy, who was startled by the outburst – no more. NO DQ possible.”

Again, a straw-man: the offense is not yelling at his box – it would have been if he had accidentally hit the ball by while angrily grabbing the towel. If you’re going to argue a point, get the point right in the first place.

“It appears the “racket toss” at the 2015 FO…”

Yet another strawman – as such the remainder of that is entirely irrelevant to my point. If, as a racquet is being smashed or thrown in anger, the whole racquet, or even a part of it, accidentally hits someone, the player is subject to disqualification – full stop.

The one with an agenda is the one who argues points that haven’t been made, refutes examples that haven’t been offered, and refers to another sport with entirely different rules, even going so far as to compare a player in baseball trying to hit the ball, with a player in tennis trying to destroy their racquet. That would be you, not me. The post is about Djokovic, so I refer to Djokovic. If it were another player in question I would refer to the other player. But the common denominator is the rules that apply to all players.

No agenda and no bias.

MMT Says:

“Margot Says: @MMT There must be some happy middle ground between the behaviour that Mac and Connors went in for, which quite honestly at times is beyond belief and I am a rugby fan, and the rather prissy condemnation of today’s players for quite understandable expressions of frustration.”

Agreed – but the original question to Djokovic was not a criticism of his expression of emotion – there is nothing illegal about that. The question was about expressions of emotion that pose a risk to spectators, court officials, stewards and ball boys/girls. What would be awful is if he persists in taking these risks without consequence, until something accidentally happens that causes him to be disqualified. The game doesn’t need an all-time great, or any player for that matter, getting disqualified for something that, if he were prevailed upon to take more caution, could be killed in the crib before it manifests.

And yes, for the record, McEnroe and (especially) Connors was much worse than anything that Djokovic or any of the top modern players do or have done. Frankly, McEnroe and Connors weren’t the only ones who expressed emotion – but they were two of the few who got away with frequent and extremely abusive behavior with largely few consequences. The game benefited in popularity largely because of their personalities, but you can have too much of a good thing, and I think the balance now is about right…for my tastes anyway.

Willow Says:

MMT is a genius poster, no emotional bias, just researching and telling it like it is ….

MMT Says:

Thanks Willow – I will do one more post on my blog reviewing the year over Thanksgiving.

Margot Says:

MMT: of course behaviour that endangers others is quite wrong. Also, Serena’s direct threat was wrong too. In rugby the ref and the lines people are usually treated most respectfully.
But I’ve just seen Stan have an absolutely epic racquet smashing episode, for which he received a warning. What do you feel about that?

chrisford1 Says:

MMT – A lot of verbage about nothing. When a seasoned sophist like yourself takes the stage, it is blah-blah, not facts, that others hear. These are the facts, sophist..

1. Djokovic did not interfere with the ballboy, move towords him in a “scary way”. He just startled the kid with yelling at his box when the towel was being delivered to him.
2. You mentioned Djokovic throwing his racket and luckily escaping DQ. He didn’t “throw”. The racket was not deliberately thrown. While hitting someone with it surely would have DQ’d Djokovic, it was not his intent to fling the racket. Just smash it, and the racket slipped from his grip and went sailing off behind him.
3. Sometimes I wonder if you or Willow ever played. Balls go into the stands on hard smashes , kick serves as intended and shank shots when not intended. Don’t tell me the “rules”, which you have not read, allow for a DQ on a smash that wafts into the stands. Or balls smacked straight into the stands on winning, sent out as souvenirs.
The actual rule, vs. the one MMT pulled out of his posterior?

ATP Code, Section 8:
“a) Ball Abuse
i) Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw
a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the
reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up). For
purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or recklessly
hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously
or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the
ii) Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine of up to $350 for
each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the
player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

No DQ as a ball bouncing up after smacking it down on the court and arcing into the stands, or Rafa’s lined up water bottles, etc., is not dangerous.

Danica Says:


Jane explained it all. There is nothing more to be added there. If Nole had accepted the British citizenship when the family was offered some ten years ago, the Mirror journalist would be asking different set of questions. And not just him. The AO would not fail to misspell the name of their 5 time champion, nor would the Croatian or Slovakian flag be put next to Novak’s name. The other fact is that most of those journalists have never practiced any sport and they simply do not understand the workings of a human body during a prolonged physical stress. So if a player has a crisis during the match and cannot hide the body language, that does not mean he/she is doing malicious tricks to disturb the opponent.

Sorry, but Western press, and thus fans, will find reasons to blame Novak with the most ridiculous accusations. What they fail to understand and take into considerations is also the cultural and historical milieu he comes from. They are taking things for granted because they are “that way” in their countries.

Summa summarum, Novak has been pestered continuously by journalists. And yes, “these guys are unbelievable”. He is simply tired of explaining and having to prove something. He does not need to. Much worse things happen or are told on the court, but double standards rule.

Danica Says:


Emilia is correct. And in fact, I recently read somewhere that Nole’s and Milos’ grandfathers lived in villages only about 28 kms apart. Not that this is an important piece of info mind you :). But it’s interesting trivia.

I also have both maternal and fraternal ancestors coming from Montenegro. But we are all Serbs no matter what new histories try to prove. Most still feel that way there.

Khb Says:

That’s hilarious! How come the western media didn’t question why Roddick wasn’t disqualified for harassing the linesjudge for his own amusement?!!
He blasted the ball into the crowd but no one suspended him!
Wasn’t he fake pitying himself while cashing in on a fake Feddick rivalry?
He even complained that Novak was still a favorite at the 2016 French Open…

Surely, very spoiled brats/pathetic rule breakers that were big losers weren’t worried about losing matches, with minuscule money penalties.
Novak is treated like an inferior player that wasted 25 seconds between serves, as the time violation issue was mentioned to him again after his match yesterday.
He wasted time this summer with the French Open obsession.
He led the media & players to get confident, smell blood & believe he was down & out.
Didn’t he punish himself enough?
He already was treated as scum by Federer & some media people.
There’s no need to trash him with hypothetic “bad behavior” fantasies.
Not everyone is gifted with sportsmanship awards every year for doing nothing but hide the real self under the guise of hero propaganda.

Willow Says:

MMT I Look forward to that CHEERS ;-)) ….

Dan The Man Says:

I’ve watch tennis 35 years. I’m not a Djokovic fan. That reporter was trying to start a fight. I don’t think it’s a coincidence this ‘reporter’ was British. When I read this title, I wondered if Djokovic had nearly maimed someone. I watched the video, just ridiculous this is even a story.

MMT Says:

chrisford1: It’s incredible; you cited a code that contradicts your contention that there is some exception for the ball bouncing first – there is plainly none. Didn’t you notice that?

“1. Djokovic did not interfere with the ballboy, move towords him in a “scary way”.”

A strawman; that’s not the rule, nobody said Djokovic did that or that this would merit disqualification – completely irrelevant. I said he could have been disqualified if he had hit the ball boy.

“2. You mentioned Djokovic throwing his racket and luckily escaping DQ. He didn’t “throw”. The racket was not deliberately thrown.”

You have contradicted yourself (“he didn’t throw it” vs “he didn’t deliberately throw it”. These are mutually exclusive.) And let me know if you need me to be involved in this argument with figments of your imagination, because YOU referred to the RG incident, not me. For God’s (wink, wink) sake, don’t mix your vapid arguments with mine. Even in the RG example (against Berdych, in case anyone wants to see it) the racquet was (accidentally) thrown but didn’t hit anyone. And I didn’t say he SHOULD have been disqualified, only that he COULD have if it had hit someone. Coincidentally that is EXACTLY what I said about his many instances of racquet abuse.

I know it’s hard to rationally analyze what I (or anyone else, for that matter) say(s) through the fog of your desperate attempts to shield Djokovic from any (poorly perceived) criticisms at all, but it will help contradict truly biased comments in the future if you do.

“3…Balls go into the stands on hard smashes , kick serves as intended and shank shots when not intended. Don’t tell me the “rules”, which you have not read, allow for a DQ on a smash that wafts into the stands. Or balls smacked straight into the stands on winning, sent out as souvenirs.”

Just to complete the trio of strawmen, nobody said anything about balls hit in earnest (not in anger) during play – like your baseball analogy, it is completely irrelevant to this discussion about what Djokovic did. And I have read the rules. Speaking of which…

The rule you’ve cited concerns hitting either the ball or your racquet “in anger”, which you’ve (incredibly) cited but either ignorantly or disingenously omitted from your collection of non-sequiturs and irrelevant examples. But you’ve accidentally brought up a good distinction – you are referring to the ball or equipment abuse. In fact, the direct disqualification is for physical abuse which can rise to the level of a major offense of aggravated behavior. It is under this code that a player would be directly disqualified.

If you’re serious about the rules, search “aggravated behavior” in the code of conduct (including in the remainder of Section 8, which you’ve obliviously cited). Under this rule, players have been disqualified recently, namely:

Darian King
Mateusz Kowalczyk and Adam Majchrowicz (doubles team).

The funny thing is, despite your knee-jerk reaction to what you perceive to be some sort of criticism of Djokovic, that fact is I don’t want him to be disqualified, and this is my point. He could be disqualified if one of these “bullets” he’s dodged winds up finding it’s mark. That was the point of the original question in the press conference, and my point.

MMT Says:

Danica: I’m not sure why you directed your comments to me – I didn’t accuse Djokovic of malicious tricks. As I told chrisford1, my concern is that he does something (even accidentally) that gets him disqualified.

As for your assumptions of what the press would do if he were British, that kind of speculation is of no concern to me. What is of concern is what Djokovic does, and the risk he takes with his very angry reactions.

As chrisford1 accidentally revealed – intent to injure or abuse plays no role in determining whether the player is to be sanction. Only the intent of their actions. If you intend to express anger, but accidentally hit someone, you’re up $#!^’s creek, and this is precisely what I would like Djokovic to contemplate.

Danica Says:


I simply added my two cents to what I thought was your accusation of Novak. Apologies if that was not the case. There was no ball bay accident where he could have been hurt –
Nole was merely yelling at his box. Where he could have been disqualified was at the FO when his racquet ended up in stands and thankfully was caught by spectators.

Why I mentioned that it does matter where he comes from and who the journalists are is precisely because he is ad nauseam asked ridiculous and stupid questions only to be blamed for not answering and being “rude”. No one on tour is this bullied by the press. Andy angrily bashed the ball after he was broken and was not asked about it. No one even wanted to notice. There are clearly double standards where Nole is in question.

Khb Says:

Of course, Fedalray are angels and Novak’s the conniving devil, according to the media propaganda. Hypocrisy is part of the reasons for Novak feeling sick of tennis. He had to apologize for talking about the WTA salary because the competition was so ‘wonderful’ against Serena. Basically, if he hadn’t beaten down Fedalray, he wouldn’t be baited with lowlife questions.
Sure, no one tells him repeatedly to be focused on the game no matter how much money he makes. However, he was not the only one that blurted foul language and smacked a racket or ball.

Fed can show nasty sportsmanship in interviews, trash the racket, tongue lash & curse at opponents. Whatever he desires and still get sportsmanship awards every year!

Danica Says:

Well spoken.

MMT Says:

Fair enough Danica.

I don’t think you meant to say that there was no incident in Miami, but just in case someone is not familiar it is here:

He is indeed yelling at his “box”, but as he does so he angrily snatches the towel from the boy. He wasn’t even looking at the boy as he did it, so if he miscalculated or the boy was six inches closer, he could have hit him, and that would have been disastrous.

Djokovic himself apologized publicly to the ball boy for the incident, so there is some “there” there. As I said, despite his testy exchange with the reporter, the man may (accidentally) be doing him a favor. It would be good for someone to have a word with him about this, otherwise, I can see this resulting in an accidental default, and then everyone will be asking themselves, “How did it get to this?”

Well, this is how.

Willow Says:

Thanks for putting that link up MMT, personally i do admit to giving Novak a hard time sometimes, but i will give credit where its due, and say that was a lovely gesture to apologize like that, well said Novak ;-)) ….

Danica Says:


Are you kidding me?!

This kind of towel snatching is all over the tennis courts by all tier players. The kid was startled and nothing more. Wasn’t there an “incident” with a ball girl too?
This is precisely WHAT I am talking about. It is nothing. Happens all the time and yet, ONLY Novak was made to apologize. You conveniently forgot to mention the middle man between the match and Novak’s apology. The press. The media. They started making a huge deal out of this literally forcing him to record an apology. He did it only to quiet them down. I mean, come on. Much ado about nothing really.

MMT Says:

Danica: I don’t know if THAT kind of towel snatching happens all the time, but I’m open to being convinced. If you have videos of other players doing the same thing, by all means, post them – if nothing else it will bolster your argument that this is some sort of campaign in the press to impugn Djokovic. I’m not familiar with the ball girl incident.

As I said, my concern is that this incident (for which Djokovic apologized), like the one at the WTF, and the one at Roland Garros, could have ended badly for him, and for the game. If that ball boy were your son, perhaps you’d be fine with Djokovic doing that, but I wouldn’t. My guess is most wouldn’t. And I guarantee that if he had miscalculated and hit that boy, he would have been dealt with severely. That is the point in its entirety.

It would be pretty bad for any event, particularly a 1000 final, to end with the #1 player in the world defaulted for accidentally hitting a ball boy or a fan or an official.

madmax Says:

I think the way the reported kept badgering Novak was out of order. He is allowed the frustration with so much at stake. It was completely understandable. I think though, the humour was missed. When watching the video, it was clear that some of the media found it funny, light hearted, but Novak was totally serious in his answer.

Never heard of this report before, he was brave. He should ask every tennis player this question because there are plenty who get frustrated. Shows passion.

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