Novak Djokovic made headlines for the wrong reasons last Sunday when he was disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a touch judge with a frustrated ball. The World number 1 became the first tennis player to suffer such a sanction since Denis Shapovalov's sensational expulsion in the Davis Cup in 2017.
The Serbian phenomenon was the big favorite for the Flushing Meadows victory, which would have allowed him to reduce the gap that separates him from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Slam standings. Recent criticism of Nole has also cast doubt on his position as a sports ambassador.
Djokovic had already sparked countless controversies for the organization of the Adria Tour, canceled after the second stage due to the positivity of some participants (including Novak himself). In this context, former ATP No.
1 Andy Roddick expressed his opinion on the disqualification of the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
Roddick on Novak Djokovic
"It was an extremely unfortunate moment, but he put himself in a position where Novak Djokovic was inviting bad luck into the equation by doing that.
There is no walking out of it," Andy Roddick pointed out. "The parts about it that bother me are the 20-minute conversation afterwards, the kind of not seeming overly concerned about the lady's neck or whatever, and then skipping press afterwards - that rubbed me probably the wrong way more than the actual action," the American said.
"At this stage in his career, because everyone has been so in love with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for a long time, Novak Djokovic has kind of been the villain. He's the guy that kind of wants to shoot Bambi in a lot of tennis fans' eyes," the American said.
"The last six months have been a PR debacle for him," Roddick concluded. Like the Serbian star, John McEnroe has also faced the ignominy of being defaulted from a grand slam tournament, becoming the first man to suffer such a fate when a series of code violations during his match against Mikael Pernfors saw him punted from the 1990 Australian Open.
The American accepted that his fiery personality made him a polarising figure in the world of tennis - a situation Aussie firebrand Nick Kyrgios can no doubt relate to. McEnroe often fed off the negativity projected towards him and channelled the aggression into his own game.