During the second round match of the Australian Open 2023 against the French Couacaud, Novak Djokovic got a drink bottle from his box by the ATP supervisor, who brings it to the Serbian tennis player. Attached to the bottle, there would have been a note with a secret message that the Serbian champion read before returning to the field.
Social media have literally gone crazy for the images of the bottle with a note attached that reached the Serbian tennis player from the champion's staff. Could this be a coaching episode? Coaching is also prohibited by the new rules, which are much more permissive.
In the match won against Enzo Concacaud, one of his staff members can be seen in the video passing a bottle with a particular label rolled up on it to an insider. After the chair umpire's go-ahead, the tennis player invited the official to hurry as if he wanted to drink right away and so he took the bottle, but reading the label first.
Nole has read what was written, then the player then put the water bottle aside, showing that he was primarily interested in the card.
Novak Djokovic and the secret message on the bottle: what was there?
"I leave the doubters to them, the doubters, to continue to doubt.
Only my injuries are suspicious, and when other players get injured, they are the victims, and I'm the one who pretends. It's very interesting, you know who it is. I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone, I have this year's x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, it's all proven.
I don't know if I'll post it on the net. It depends on how I feel. I don't care what people say and think. It just continues that narrative around me that is different from the other players. I'm used to it and it gives me extra strength," said Nole, perhaps throwing a dig at Rafael Nadal.
This is the third time in 6 months that Djokovic has received a drink for a member of his team to use during a match. After the first case, at Wimbledon, it also happened with the situation of the final of the Masters 1000 in Paris, in November lost against Holger Rune, when someone filmed his physiotherapist busy preparing a particular drink in the stands, then delivered through a ball boy to Nole.
Djokovic talking about magic potion, joking with teh media in press conference. In reality it could be isotonic solutions or energy drinks, enriched with vitamins and electrolytes with the aim for athletes to replenish the glucose, fluids and electrolytes that are lost during activity.