In recent days, there has been a huge debate on the rule that led to the disqualification of Novak Djokovic from the US Open. A good number of fans and insiders believe that the sanction imposed on the number 1 in the world was excessive, while others are convinced that the decision has been corrected in accordance with the regulation.
During his round of 16 match against Pablo Carreno Busta, the 17-time Grand Slam champion accidentally hit the line judge with a ball after suffering a break in the eleventh game of the first set. The Belgrade phenomenon received a very heavy fine from the USTA, also due to the decision to skip the post-match press conference.
A few hours after the incident, Nole used her Twitter account to apologize to the line judge, to the tournament and to all her colleagues, making an appointment for the season on clay. Former World number 1 Justine Henin also expressed her judgment on the controversial incident.
Henin on Novak Djokovic
"If we have a softer rule, what are the limits?” Justine Henin questioned. “Many defend Novak Djokovic because they believe it was a really difficult decision. I wouldn't change the rule, that's my opinion.
It's just that, in the end, people get injured every now and then, even if that was not intended,” Henin added. "We have to somehow control that and set limits so that these things don't go on. We have to respect everyone in sport.
We are all human and not perfect," Henin said. "Novak Djokovic is not a machine and I like the idea." That vortex has also created a man increasingly unable to understand context and perception from without. In constantly reinforcing his own self-importance, the Serbian champion has misplaced the ability to view himself as anything other than the alpha predator at the top of the tennis ecosystem, to which others should offer deference, admiration and even gratitude.
Djokovic is not a bad person at heart. When he speaks from the heart, he can be engaging and intriguing and has clear and articulate thoughts about the state of the game. Others, like his number one heckler Nick Kyrgios, would suggest it's only because he's in love with the sound of his own voice.
But it's difficult not to think his disqualification from the US Open for belting a ball into a line judge is not a perfect, compact metaphor for a year in which he has made enough wrong moves that if he were a boxer, he would have been clipped enough times for the referee to intervene in the first round.