“Sorry for Screaming”: Novak Djokovic Displays Sportsmanship Spirit, Apologizes to Chair Umpire for Outburst at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/11/2021, 4:28 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 5, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during his group stage match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


World number one Novak Djokovic, who is yet to win a clay-court title this year, has had a winning start to his Italian Open campaign as he defeated the American Taylor Fritz 6-3,7-6(5) in a rain-delayed contest. 

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Novak Djokovic won the first set comfortably, as he didn’t leave any room for error for Fritz to capitalize on. Both Djokovic and Fritz had also had a drama-filled matchup at the Australian Open this year, where the Serb clinched the victory in a five-setter. 

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

Novak Djokovic had an outburst at the chair umpire at the Italian Open

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In today’s match in Rome, the Serb was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second. By that time, there was moderate rain, and the court was partially wet. Djokovic couldn’t keep up the intensity in his serve due to the slippery conditions and lost the game to Fritz. 

The Serb was intensely disappointed and lashed out at the umpire for not suspending the game soon enough. 

However, when the match resumed after the rain stopped, Djokovic apologized to the chair umpire and was heard saying, “Sorry for screaming earlier.”

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Djokovic has had similar outbursts in the past as well

The world number one finished without any trouble in the tie-breaker of the second set. Even though Fritz tried his best to stay close in the breaker, Djokovic’s near-perfect tennis gave no chance to the American. 

As talented as he is on-court, the Serb remains a trouble-maker at times, especially when things don’t go his way during a tennis match. From the viewers’ perspective, it can sometimes feel like Djokovic needs an outburst in crucial matches to bounce back and play his style of tennis. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

However, the Serb has always maintained that it was his way of dealing with the on-court pressure. Keeping aside the occasional outbursts, Djokovic has always embraced his shortcomings, and it is one of the many reasons why fans adore him across the globe. 

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It is worth noting that there have also been instances where Djokovic displayed sportsmanship spirit towards his opponents and appreciated them genuinely at the handshake post the match. 

The Serb will play the winner of the matchup between Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Cameron Norrie for a place in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open. 

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Sagar Ashtakoula

384 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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