“I’m Ashamed”: Novak Djokovic Opens Up on Outburst at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/14/2021, 7:16 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 15, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his third round match against Britain’s Dan Evans REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


Novak Djokovic has opened up on how he doesn’t let his frustrations or anger boil over and keeps his focus on the job – which is to win games of tennis.

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In a classic illustration of the same in the ongoing Italian Open, the Serb was seen apologizing to the chair umpire after screaming at him for allowing play in the rain during his tournament opener against American Taylor Fritz.

What’s more, he didn’t let the incident affect his game as he closed out the match in straight sets after a brief rain-induced delay.

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“I tend to lose my cool”: Novak Djokovic

Speaking on his angry moments in court, Djokovic conceded that he does have emotions like every other player out there and sometimes finds it difficult to keep hold of them.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

“As you can see on the court, I get frustrated. I don’t want to say I get frustrated easy but I do have emotions like anybody else. I’m a human being, so, of course, I tend to lose my cool,” the reigning Australian Open champion said.

He added that he is not “proud” of these episodes where he lets his anger boil over and often regrets his actions.

However, he said he doesn’t hesitate to say sorry, adding that he realized that it wasn’t nice of him to scream at the umpire and hence didn’t lose any time expressing his regret to him.

“At times, of course, I’m ashamed of that, but I don’t have an issue to say I’m sorry and I apologize. So, it was not necessary, neither was (it) nice for me to scream at the umpire the other day. So I thought at least what I can do is to apologize and ask for forgiveness and that’s what I’ve done,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic says it’s important to accept one’s mistakes and move on

Djokovic added that while he was unsure if the chair umpire forgave him for his outburst, he did take some measure of guilt off himself by extending an apology.

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The Serb said one has to “move on” from these incidents and episodes and what matters at the end of the day is whether one is ready to own up to his “flaws” and voice his regret.

“I’m flawed as anybody else. I don’t want intentionally to do these things,” he said, adding that what was important was to accept that what he did was wrong.

The defending Rome champion will play World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the semifinals on Friday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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