Novak Djokovic was disqualified during the match of the round of 16 of the US Open against the Spaniard Pablo Carreno, who thus qualified for the quarterfinals. The news of Djokovic's expulsion went around the world and generated numerous discussions, perhaps too many considering the tenor of certain comments.
A world number one, however, had never been disqualified in a Grand Slam event, even though Djokovic had already risked the red card in a 2016 Roland Garros match. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was defaulted from the 2020 US Open after he struck a lineswoman with a ball.
In a recent podcast, former player Marion Bartoli spoke about the incident and also about Djokovic's state of mind.
Bartoli on Novak Djokovic
“Since the start of the US Open, Novak Djokovic has undoubtedly been disturbed by everything that is happening off the court, as well as his new status as a big favorite in the Grand Slam.
Maybe more than usual. It all started to boil inside him, and he ended up behaving like that. He will have to wonder why he felt like this, so tense and upset," Marion Bartoli said of Novak Djokovic's disqualification.
"It's a story that ends horribly badly. He was not in the right frame of mind and not in his usual state. But the rules are very clear: you are disqualified if you touch someone, regardless of whether it is voluntary or not," Bartoli added.
“I think the question is more how he feels. He must be feeling horribly wrong. Without even thinking about what the public will think of him, the most important thing is himself," Bartoli claimed. "He is the father of two children and I'm sure he feels bad because they are bound to hear about it.
And he certainly doesn't want to portray that image as a father," the former Wimbledon winner said of Djokovic. In June, while almost every other professional sport around the world had come to a halt, Djokovic organized a tennis tournament across the Balkans, called the Adria Tour.
Alongside some of the world's best tennis players, hundreds of fans were in attendance, many of whom wore no masks and failed to adhere to social-distancing protocols. The event was canceled after just two of its proposed five legs, after Djokovic; his wife, Jelena; and the players Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, and Viktor Troicki all tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA star Nikola Jokic, who was pictured hugging Djokovic at one of the events, also tested positive.