Djokovic opens up on US Open torment

VIDEO SHOWS: PRESS CONFERENCE WITH NOVAK DJOKOVIC IN WHICH HE DISCUSSES IMPACT OF DISQUALIFICATION FROM US OPEN / FILE OF US OPEN VENUES AT FLUSHING MEADOWS

SHOWS:

ROME, ITALY (SEPTEMBER 14, 2020) (ATP MEDIA – NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TENNIS PLAYER NOVAK DJOKOVIC SAYING:

“Of course it was a shock to finish the US Open the way it was finished for me, first time in my career that something like this happens. Of course, it could have happened earlier in my career, it could have happened to many players that the ball hits the line umpire. It was just unfortunate that I did hit a line umpire in a very awkward place. Look, there was a lot of speculations and discussions whether it was deserved or not, I accepted it and I moved on. I checked on Laura after the match, she said that she was fine and there was no big injuries and I felt really sorry to cause the shock and drama to her because she didn’t deserve that in any way.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA (FILE) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

2. VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM

ROME, ITALY (SEPTEMBER 14, 2020) (ATP MEDIA – NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.)

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TENNIS PLAYER NOVAK DJOKOVIC SAYING:

“Yeah, it was totally unexpected and very unintended as well to hit her. But as I said, when you hit the ball like that, when I hit, you have a chance to hit somebody that is on the court and the rules are clear when it comes to that and I accepted it and I had to move on and that is what I did. Of course I did not forget about it, and I don’t think that I will forget about it and it will be in your memory for the rest of your life but I don’t think I will have many major issues coming back to the tour and being able to perform well and hit the tennis ball. Of course, during the point.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA (FILE) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

4. VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF FLUSHING MEADOWS

ROME, ITALY (SEPTEMBER 14, 2020) (ATP MEDIA – NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.)

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TENNIS PLAYER NOVAK DJOKOVIC SAYING:

“Well look there are things that are just unpredictable in a way, even for ourselves of course as anybody else, I am working mentally and emotionally as hard as I am working physically, trying to be the best version of myself on the court and off the court and I understand that I have outbursts, and this is the personality and the player that I have always been. And obviously I went through ups and downs in my career and managing to control my emotions more or less. But obviously you play out there alone, and it is a lot of intensity and lot of pressure and you have to deal with all of that and sometimes situations like this happen and I cannot promise or I cannot guarantee that I will ever ever do anything similar to that in my life. I am definitely going to try my best and hope that it never happens again, obviously but anything is possible really in life, so I am going to take this in, as profound as possible for me, as a big lesson. And I have been thinking about it I have been comprehending and I have been talking to my team of course it is just one of those things that is unfortunate and it happens .”

6. WHITE FLASH

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TENNIS PLAYER NOVAK DJOKOVIC SAYING:

“As I said I will not forget about it, it will always be there but I will have to accept it like I have, and move on and embrace it as well and kind of welcome it is a great lesson. Because I try to have that kind of mentality where I have, as weird as it sounds, just befriend that experience and try to really let it assimilate in my emotions and my mind and let it process and let my mind process and my heart what has happened. And then try to make the most out of it, take the lesson ad then move on wiser hopefully.”

8. WHITE FLASH

9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TENNIS PLAYER NOVAK DJOKOVIC SAYING:

“It could have happened may be even before a few times in my career and I know that it could have happened a lot to other players, so it is not completely out of the blue so to say, an unseen situation in tennis, we will probably see some of that more in tennis in general in the future – hopefully not so much, and hopefully not from my side.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA (FILE) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

10. VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF FLUSHING MEADOWS / ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM

STORY: World number one Novak Djokovic says he cannot guarantee he will not make a similar mistake that led to his disqualification at the U.S. Open for striking a line judge with a ball but he remains confident it will not affect his tennis in the future.

The Serb was disqualified in the fourth round in New York when he hit a ball in frustration after dropping serve in the first set against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, hitting the line judge in her throat and causing her to fall to the floor.

Djokovic, who had already apologised for the incident, said that he called on the lineswoman to check on her health since the incident at Flushing Meadows.

“I cannot promise or cannot guarantee that I will never ever do anything similar to that in my life,” Djokovic told a news conference at the Italian Open on Monday (September 14).

“I’m trying to be the best version of myself on the court and off the court and I understand that I have outbursts and this is kind of the personality and the player that I have always been.

“I’m going to take this in as profound as possible for me as a big lesson.”

Following the incident, the tournament organisers confirmed Djokovic was fined $250,000 — his prize money for reaching round four. The 33-year-old was also fined an additional $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“There was a lot of speculation about whether it was deserved. I accepted it, I moved on,” Djokovic added. “Of course I didn’t forget about it, I don’t think I’ll ever forget about it.”

The disqualification, however, gave Djokovic more time to regroup before his claycourt opener at this week’s Italian Open.

Having won 26 of 27 matches on tour this season, Djokovic remains one of the favourites to win the French Open, which begins on Sept. 27.

(Production: Iain Axon)

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