tennis ace Novak Djokovic with the officials
tennis ace Novak Djokovic with the officials
AFP

New York

Most of the well-known athletes world around have their share of vibrant characters who add a bit of off-the-field entertainment and showboating, causing fans to respond with either laughter or outrage.

From the headbutt of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final, when France’s best player Zinedine Zidane headbutted Italian midfielder Marco Materazzi, to the Sydneygate scandal Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds to name a few.

Even the traditionally mild-mannered sports, such as tennis, occasionally produce a nutty character or two capable of stealing camera time with absurd antics.

Whether it's his humorous impressions of Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick, or the open sense of humour he displays in interviews, the 25-year-old Serbian is one of the more colourful characters of tennis.

And on Sunday it was yet another such case, this time it was at the Flushing Meadows at the US Open in New York.

The tennis ace Novak Djokovic venting out his frustration on tour during matches is not new. The world number one has a long history of smashing racquets on court particularly during Grand Slam tournaments.

Djokovic's temper resulted in his disqualification from US Open 2020 after he accidentally hit a line judge with a tennis ball in frustration during his round 4 match at Flushing Meadows.

The incident could have turned ugly but thankfully, the female line judge recovered from the blow on her throat. The Serbinator, as Djokovic is also called, apologised for his behaviour and pleaded that he didn't do it intentionally but the tournament officials were having none of it.

The Grand Slam rules state: "Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site.

"The referee, in consultation with the Grand Slam chief of supervisors may declare a default for either a single violation of this code."

The tennis ace who is also called as a joker for his entertainment on court, later issued an apology on social media. But fact of the matter is that this was long due.

Djokovic has always been in the news for his on-court outbursts and it was about time something like this happened.

Serbian had done something similar in 2016 during the French Open in Paris but fortunately for him, he escaped getting defaulted after smashing his racquet on court which fell very near a line judge.

Even his former coach Boris Becker accepted that Djokovic has this reputation of hitting tennis balls in anger and called the US Open 2020 moment the worst of the 17-time Grand Slam champion's career.

"Thankfully there were no people, no spectators, but he has a habit sometimes of hitting the ball in the stands. Frustrations started boiling up," Becker said.

"Maybe leaving the court at the end was the toughest moment in Novak Djokovic's career," Becker, a former US Open champion, said.

US Open chief referee Soeren Friemel recently spoke about the controversy surrounding Novak Djokovic's disqualification.

Friemel claimed that while the World No. 1 didn't mean to hurt the lineswoman, the rules required them to default him.

The lineswoman audibly gasped for air after Novak Djokovic clocked her in the throat accidentally. Little did the World No. 1 know that his spur of the moment act would end up causing his exit from the tournament.

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