The controversy that inevitably accompanied the disqualification of Novak Djokovic from the US Open 2020 does not hint to subside. The World number 1, who was chasing his fourth title in New York and the 18th Grand Slam, lost his head in his match of eighths against Pablo Carreno Busta letting himself go to a gesture that cost him dearly.
After suffering a break at the end of the first set, the Serbian phenomenon threw the ball backwards accidentally hitting a touch judge. The episode, which was very reminiscent of the incident that occurred to Denis Shapovalov three years ago in the Davis Cup, led to the (almost immediate) disqualification, despite Djokovic having tried everything to convince the leaders of the tournament of his good faith.
Serbian journalist Sasa Ozmo, very close to Nole, believes that the 17-time Grand Slam champion does not receive treatment appropriate to his status in the circuit from the international media.
Ozmo on Novak Djokovic
"Many feel that he has been disadvantaged.
To understand that, you have to see the big picture," Sasa Ozmo told Tages-Anzeiger Sport. "How Novak Djokovic is treated by the international media and sometimes by the Grand Slams does not correspond with what he has achieved in his career" - he added.
"A scene suddenly occurs to me: Roger Federer slammed against Rafael in the Paris semifinals last year, almost got the ball out of rage from the stadium," he said. "The spectators in the first rows were shocked because at first, they thought he was shooting at them.
But Federer didn't have to answer a question about it in the press conference. Had Novak done that, it would only have been talked about. Everything he does is always viewed critically," Ozmo added. "That is why many in Serbia have the feeling that he has now been disadvantaged at the US Open.
But anyone who takes a closer look at tennis knows that it was a disqualification. No question. I think it bothered him even more in the past," said the journalist. "Over time, he found a way to deal with it, even to use it to his advantage.
We all know what the atmosphere was like at the 2015 US Open or at Wimbledon 2019 against Federer. I think that when the game is over he would of course have liked more people to support him," Ozmo went on. "But during the game, that only makes him more determined. If he is in mode of 'me against the world', he is very difficult to beat."