Novak Djokovic was barred from the 2020 US Open after accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball during his round of 16 match against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. The disqualification of the World number 1 has opened a huge hole in the men's scoreboard, but the aftermath of this incident is destined to continue in the coming weeks.
The sanction imposed on the 17-time Grand Slam champion has generated different reactions within the tennis community. Some believe that the correct decision has been made, while others believe that it has been punished too harshly.
In the latest edition of the 'NCR Tennis Podcast', well-known New York Times reporter Ben Rothenberg expressed his opinion on the serious episode involving the Belgrade phenomenon. In fact, it is not the first time that Nole shows signs of intolerance that result in behavior that is not in keeping with a tennis tournament and its role.
Rothenberg on Novak Djokovic
"I think it's non-accidental that it happened to Novak Djokovic. People don't normally hit lines judges in the throat. Because I played his clip at the 2016 ATP Finals, Novak has made a habit out of acting recklessly on the court with his equipment," Ben Rothenberg said.
"At French Open 2016, he threw his racquet behind him and a very quick-footed linesman behind him stepped out of its way, it was coming for his head. So that was the moment. Novak Djokovic is not the only player who does it, but he was specially spirited about he was being unfairly talked about for doing this at the WTFs," he added.
"There was a vine, which I can't interlink here, where a kid shouts 'When will you learn?' This is what I think about the top players and especially Novak. There's this default, but Novak's whole year has been thinking he can do whatever he wants and be fine with it," Rothenberg said.
"Whether it's all the way from changing water molecules with your mind to playing Adria Tour during a pandemic, being a super-spreader event in a country that was otherwise doing well," he added. "Novak and his fans have been hiding behind the defense of 'Oh, but the intentions were so good.
I only had the best intentions' As if that matters; it does not, folks. If you're on a drive to donate clothes but you run over a child on a bicycle on the way there, the trip doesn't really matter in the end," the American continued.
"Novak has so much fire in him at all times, some of it escapes out of him at times. I think it's his personality to not be conscientious about other people and the consequences," Rothenberg added.