After Stirring Up Huge US Open Controversy, Novak Djokovic Plays Innocent With a Cheeky Remark Over His Nasty Ben Shelton Act

Published 09/08/2023, 9:56 PM EDT

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Ben Shelton amazed the tennis community with his impeccable Grand Slam run. The American’s road to the semi-final of the US Open was not easy, as he had to defeat top seeds like Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul on the way. So, when Novak Djokovic mocked his iconic ‘dialed-in’ celebration, fans showered fireballs on the Serb. The crowd cheered for the American despite his loss, and Djokovic, who did not have a pleasant experience with the audience, retaliated in his signature style.

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Djoker ‘dialed in’ to the finals of the Flushing Meadows, and he made his dominance absolutely clear to his young opponent. The soon-to-be-re-crowned World No.1 delivered his explanation regarding why he mimicked Shelton’s iconic celebration.

Novak Djokovic spilled the beans on imitating Ben Shelton

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Shelton is only 20 years old, and reaching the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time on home soil was a huge career milestone. When he defeated Tiafoe in the quarter-final, Shelton mimed picking up an ancient telephone, dialing in, and hanging up. Fans loved his new style, and his celebration, too, became popular just like his win.

Djokovic, who claims to have witnessed Shelton’s celebration, adapted it after his straight-set win against the American. In his post-match conference, the Serb revealed why he chose to ‘dial in’ too. He said, “I just love Ben’s, uh, celebration. I just, uh, I thought it was very original, and I copied him. I stole his celebration.”

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When Shelton finally got a grip of himself in the third set, the Serb shattered his final hopes by winning the tie-break. Being witty, sassy, and unforgiving is not new to Djokovic or people who have been following him. The Serb’s new post-match mimicry fueled the hate wagon for him even further. In fact, Twitterattis did not leave a chance to smash the Djoker’s pride as his bizarre 2019 grass court celebration resurfaced too.

A Twiteratti took a hard-hitting jibe at the Serb involving Roger Federer

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Twitterattis went on a trolling spree as soon as Djoker’s mockery clip went viral. While a section of netizens called the Serb hilarious, the majority of them perceived the 23 major titles winner’s act as ‘ice-cold.’ A fan also dug up the three-time Flushing Meadows title winner’s smug demeanor in the 2019 Wimbledon Championships final and compared it to his recent dial-in.

Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in the epic 5-set battle after saving two crucial match points. The Centre Court had been cheering for the Swiss Maestro for the whole match. But the Serb did not give up and broke two of Federer’s serves to clinch his title. However, Djokovic did not celebrate his win in his usual way.

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After winning his 5th Wimbledon title, the Serb put on a smug smile and smirked at the crowd, letting the win sink through his nerves. Djoker tasted the grass on the Centre Court, which still remains one of the more bizarre celebrations in tennis. However, Federer and Djokovic came to terms with it later and even joked about it in King Roger’s last Laver Cup press conference.

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Written by:

Krishna Priya

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Vadlamani Krishna Priya is a tennis writer at Essentially Sports. Pursuing her passion for storytelling, she has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Helped by her cousin who introduced her to the rules and regulations of the game during her childhood, Roger Federer matches became Priya's gateway to the world of tennis.
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Edited by:

Mitali Dey

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